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Montgomery flirts with no-no...again

Posted: March 15, 2008 2:29 a.m.
Updated: May 16, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
If the last two starts from Hart's Michael Montgomery are any indication, it could be a long season for opposing Foothill League hitters when they face the Indians.

He took a no-hitter into the seventh against Thousand Oaks last week and on Friday in the league opener against West Ranch, he was perfect through 5 2/3 innings of work.

He lost the perfect game and then the no-no in consecutive Wildcats at bats in the sixth inning, but the shutout stayed intact in a 4-0 Hart win at home.

"It's fun to catch him, he's a great pitcher," said Indians backstop Bryan Lucas. "He takes care of business. He just goes out there like a pit bull. He doesn't let teams beat him. It doesn't happen."

Montgomery (2-0) was rolling right from the start and he reached a 3-ball count with just one batter through 5 2/3. He struck out the side in the fifth and finished the day with 10 strikeouts.

"I thought I threw pretty much everything for strikes," he said. "I thought my curveball was as good as it's been in awhile."

West Ranch starter Charlie Gillies wasn't as dominant, but the biggest reason he fell to 0-2 on the season was the defense behind him.

A three-error inning in the second frame led to two runs. The Indians (6-2, 1-0) scored three in the inning and only one was earned for Gillies. He gave up six hits over 5 2/3 innings and struck out two.

"We got a really good pitching performance from Charlie. It was enough to keep the game closer than it was," said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill.

The Indians added a run in the sixth on a double by Trevor Matern. With one out in the inning, Lucas (2-3) hit a double and Gillies was taken out of the game. Relief pitcher C.J. Woldanski gave up a double to Matern, the first batter he faced.

Burrill said if his normally solid defense could have made some routine plays the game could have been different for the Wildcats (3-5, 0-1).

"But make no mistake about it," Burrill said. "Today was Montgomery's day."

Montgomery got the first two outs of the sixth, but the Cal State Fullerton-bound senior then walked No. 9 hitter Brett Bradbury on four pitches, who had just entered the game.

Allen Sarkissian was the next batter and the sophomore smacked a single up the middle for what would be the Wildcats' only hit of the game.

"I knew, (I lost it)" Montgomery said about losing the perfect game. "I was a little mad at myself when I walked a guy and gave up a hit. But you have to get over it and fight through."

He did just that, getting the next batter Trevor Fredrickson to fly out to shortstop to end the sixth and Montgomery's outing after 85 pitches.

It was a much better finish to his last start when the senior got all the way to the seventh with the no hitter but ended up allowing two runs and the Indians eventually lost 3-2 in extra innings.

"Against Thousand Oaks, he learned late that you have to make quality pitches," said Indians head coach Jim Ozella. "With the walk and the base hit, I thought he still made quality pitches."

Trevor Bauer came on in relief in the seventh inning to keep the shutout intact.

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