SOUTH PARIS — Wyatt Williamson only struck out three in 6.1 innings but kept Topsham Post 202 off-balance enough to keep a no-hitter going into the seventh inning before giving up a hit to start the final frame.
A lesser pitching performance would’ve been fine for Bessey Motors, however, as the South region leaders ran over Topsham 8-1 on Tuesday evening.
Williamson was in a zone on Tuesday, so much so that he wasn’t aware of the no-hitter.
“I didn’t even know that,” Williamson said. “We got a really good lead on them in the first couple of innings, so I was just trying to throw strikes. The big lead definitely helps a lot and once we got that I just started to throw strikes.”
Bessey’s lead came in the second inning when, after Hunter LaBossiere singled, the home team’s bats woke up and the lead-off man was eventually pushed home on a single by Emery Chickering.
Chickering’s single moved Williamson to second after the pitcher had walked. Following Chickering was an RBI single by Jonny Pruett, then a Cam Slicer walk and a double from Rod Bean that scored two. Janek Luksza capped-off the inning with a single to score Slicer.
“The bottom of the order, we got their pitch-count up in a hurry,” Bessey coach Shane Slicer said. “Will (Dieterich) struck out, but he made them throw 13 pitches. We had another walk then three hits in a row.”
Topsham starting pitcher Hunter Lohr was pitching for the first time in over two weeks and in the second inning started to feel pain in his arm. Lohr was pulled in the middle of the frame.
In the top of the second inning, Topsham’s Trey Booty reached first but it was ruled an error. Williamson cruised from there.
“He didn’t walk anybody and defensively we made some great plays,” Shane Slicer said. “Janek had a slow-roller that was fantastic, Will had a great play in right, so we just kept attacking them and I think his ball-to-strike ratio was awesome. That’s what kept him effective.”
Williamson wasn’t aware of the no-hitter he was attempting to finish, but he has been aware of his team’s defense for quite some time.
“We are all so comfortable with each other,” Williamson said. “We haven’t been hitting that awesome, but all the pitchers know that if we throw strikes that we will be fine because we have a really, really good defense.”
In the third, Williamson hit a one-out single and later scored when Bean earned a bases-loaded walk to make it 6-0.
Williamson reached base three times, as did three other Bessey players, with Slicer leading the time with four trips on the base paths.
Two more runs were scored in the fourth for Bessey to finish the scoring, with a one-out single from Ashton Kennison followed by a Dieterich walk to start the run. Chickering scored both base runners with his single two batters later to go up 8-0.
Topsham coach AJ Booty and the rest of his coaching staff stayed after the game for nearly 25 minutes talking to their players about work ethic after being outplayed by Bessey on Tuesday.
“It was a tough game,” Booty said. “Oxford is always ready to go. We have to come out as hard as they do. We have battled these guys since All-Stars and Cal Ripken (League). We just weren’t in it today and you can’t do that against these guys.”
Topsham didn’t come out of the game empty-handed, however.
In the seventh inning, Nick Merrill hit a double to lead off the inning that broke up Williamson’s no-no. Two batters later, Cody Holman singled to score Merrill to make it 8-1.
Luskza was brought in to pitch against the final three hitters and earn the final two outs. While everyone on Bessey Motors would have liked to see the no-hitter go all the way for Williamson, Shane Slicer said he was OK with being able to take out his starter before 80 pitches to save him for the team’s doubleheader on Saturday against Marshwood.