Wood no-hits Keokuk
Seeing Elijah Wood pitch gems on the mound for Washington baseball isn’t an uncommon thing, but Monday night was something special for the senior.
Wood struck out 10 Keokuk batters as he tossed a no-hitter for the Demons who picked up a 4-0 conference win over the Chiefs, their third win in four games.
“He had all three pitches working last night,” Washington head coach Nathan Miller said. “The fastball was hard and located well, and the curveball was really sharp. We went fastball-changeup and got a lot of ground balls in the first two innings. The second time through the lineup we used several curveballs right away, and threw them for strikes.”
Wood was economical throughout the night, getting through the first two innings in 16 pitches, saving his strikeouts for the middle innings.
“He’s a senior,” Miller said. “Stamina-wise he can withstand that, and the other big thing is pitch count. He only had 78 pitches going into the final inning last night, and in order to throw a complete game, you have to have the right pitch count. That means you have to get ahead early. We were able to get them off balance quite a bit, and there were a lot of ground balls last night.”
The only blemishes to Wood’s night were one walk and one batter reaching on an error.
Over his last two starts, Wood has given up one hit and one walk over 14 scoreless innings, while striking out 24 batters.
Offensively, Wood was one of four Demons with a multi-hit game, joining Tanner Knupp, Jacob Green and Mason Quigley as Washington racked up 10 hits in the win.
Washington picked up RBIs from Green, Quigley and Tanner Renoux in the contest, as the offense had a good night at the plate.
“We had tremendous hitting all the way through the lineup,” Miller said. “We had runners on base and we were threatening with opportunities to break the game wide open. We had some base-running things that were kind of a setback, but when Elijah or any of our pitchers throw strikes, we’ll see ourselves on top of the scoreboard.“
Monday night’s victory was important as far as the conference race goes for the Demons, who have a 4-5 conference record (11-9 overall) with doubleheaders with Fairfield, Mt. Pleasant and Fort Madison remaining.
“We are still in the middle of the conference race,” Miller said. “Fort Madison beat Fairfield last night, giving them three losses. Keokuk has four losses and Mt. Pleasant has a few losses. We still get to play Fairfield and Mt. Pleasant at our place yet, so it’s still anybody’s conference. If we play well, we are going to put ourselves right back in the race for a conference title and that’s what we are focused on.”
Monday night was a scheduled doubleheader, but storms forced the second game to be suspended in the top of the second inning and will be finished at a time yet to be determined.
The Demons will take on Danville at home on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.