CHAFFEE, Mo. — Junior pitcher Tyler Litterest carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and compiled 14 strikeouts while leading Valle Catholic into the finals of the Class 2, District 3 tournament on Monday.
Senior shortstop Alec Greminger added an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the sixth and sophomore Justin Roth went 3-for-4 as the second-seeded Warriors defeated Kelly 5-1.
Litterest retired 17 of his first 19 batters faced, and was aided by a double play after issuing a leadoff walk in the first inning. He struck out the side in the second and seventh frames.
Valle (19-4) collected nine hits against heralded ace Ian Householder, and advanced to face Jefferson in Wednesday’s title game. Jefferson upset top seed Chaffee 4-3 in the first semifinal contest.
Kelly finished with five defensive errors, including three at first base. The Warriors picked up an unearned run in the third inning on a bases-loaded walk to Alex Rollhaus after Nolan Wood had a leadoff infield hit.
Back-to-back singles by Roth and Thomas Hermann sparked a one-out rally in the Valle fifth. Roth sprinted home from third base to make it 2-0 when a pick-off throw was mishandled with two outs.
Evan Lauer was batting with a 3-1 count when the miscue occurred, and ripped the next pitch for a RBI single. Linc Stoll doubled down the left-field line to create a 4-0 advantage.
The dominant Litterest lost his potential no-hitter when Householder and Matt Proctor opened the Kelly seventh with consecutive singles. A wild pitch brought home the Hawks’ lone run.
Rollhaus, who is the scheduled starter for the final, finished 1-for-1 overall with a double and two walks.