ALBURNETT — Keaton Parker knew what he had going on the mound Thursday night, but he wasn’t about to share.
“I had an idea about the fourth inning but I didn’t want to say anything because that’s usually when they end up breaking,” the Alburnett junior right-hander said. “I just kept it to myself and my teammates didn’t say anything to me and we just kept it going.”
The unspoken became a reality as Parker threw the first no-hitter of his career, striking out 11 and walking one, as the Pirates blanked Janesville, 3-0, in a Class 1A District 6 semifinal before a large crowd at the Alburnett diamond.
Parker’s gem lifted the No. 5 Pirates (33-6) into Saturday’s 7 p.m. district final at home against Hudson, which advanced with a 1-0 win over North Tama in the first game here Thursday.
Janesville finishes its season at 12-11.
Only two Janesville runners reached against Parker. Wiley Sherburne drew a leadoff walk in the third and Jarrod Hoodjer reached on a one-out error in the seventh.
“Keaton did a fantastic job tonight mixing his pitches,” Alburnett Coach Ryan Stensland said. “We also played some great defense behind him tonight. It was just a great team effort tonight.”
Janesville starter Dawson Charley also threw a fine game. He allowed only three hits, but the Pirates found a way to scratch across a single run in the first and two more in the third.
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Reed Stallman singled home Ian Boline with the first Pirate run in the first. In the third an error, a hit batter and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with no outs. A Stallman ground out scored Hunter Caves and a sacrifice fly from Parker plated Boline with the second run of the inning.
The rest of the night was all Parker.
“I knew they had some pretty good hitters at the top of their lineup,” he said. “The guys at the bottom, I knew I just had to go out and go after them.”
HUDSON 1, NORTH TAMA 0
Hudson (19-9) scored an unearned run the bottom of the second which was enough for starter Jacob Murray to eliminate North Tama.
Murray allowed two hits over seven innings, striking out 11 and walking just one. Ben Kelly’s RBI single in the second brought home Trey Jochumsen with the lone tally for the Pirates.
North Tama (16-10) only had runner reach third base in the game.