UTICA — It could hardly be called a contest.
Linden McKinley High School, whose team members had little or no collective experience in organized baseball, were scheduled to face a very experienced Utica Redskins team.
The host Redskins put on a dominant display of hitting and pitching. In very workmanlike fashion, the Redskins did their job, winning their Division II sectional semifinal game, 21-0.
For Utica pitcher Dakota Young, it will go into the record books as a no-hitter. To look at Young after the game, however, one would hardly be able to tell that he struck out the first nine Panthers that stepped up to the plate. His businesslike demeanor was more akin to a young man carrying a briefcase and wearing a three-piece suit.
“I just hit my spots,” said Young. “I just went with that. That’s all I’ve got.”
There was no bravado, swagger or high-five-slapping laughter. There was just a quiet sense of the road ahead and a cool confidence to tackle a job that is yet unfinished.
“We’ve got (Licking) Valley next,” said Young, who was 1-for-2 at the plate and scored twice. “That will be a lot different than these guys.”
What can be said of a game that was halted with one out in the fourth, after eight runs had crossed the plate?
“There’s nothing to say about this one,” said Utica coach Bren Henderson.
Young’s teammates had little to do on defense because the Panthers only batted one ball into fair territory, which Young fielded himself. On offense, the Redskins racked up eight hits and benefited from 13 walks, getting their job done as quickly as they could so they could move on.
Nate Wyscarver finished the game, going hitless and scoring three times. Left fielder Derek Baker (2-for-2), batting last in the order, got the first hit for Utica with one out in the second inning. Before he stepped up to the plate, his Redskins already had built a 3-0 lead. In the third inning, they batted around, getting seven runs on only three hits.