Lake's Todd Walters escapes a tag at home by Rossford’s Noah Asmus after the ball was dropped. THE BLADE/LORI KING
MILLBURY — Lake pitcher Jayce Vancena was three outs away from his second straight no-hitter in a span of six days, and this time he had a shot at perfection.
Instead, the hard-throwing right-hander settled for a one-hit shutout in the Flyers’ 9-0 Northern Buckeye Conference victory Monday over Rossford.
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After retiring the Bulldogs’ first 18 batters, Vancena induced a seemingly harmless come-backer from Rossford’s Spencer Shultz. The ball squirted out of his hand while attempting the short throw to first, and Vancena’s bid for a perfect game ended.
“I was just trying to get over there and make the shortest throw possible, and it just slipped out of my hand,” said Vancena, who laughed off his miscue. “It’s not the biggest deal. It happens. I just got back on the mound, put a smile on my face, and got back at it with the next batter.”
Vancena got Ryan Niese on a fielder’s-choice grounder, but lost his no-hitter when Lake third baseman Joel Densic charged in on a dribbler hit by Bulldogs pitcher Noah Asmus, but was unable to bare-hand the ball to make a throw.
Lake’s ace picked off Niese from second base, and closed things with a strikeout of Ryan Reed, his 12th of the game. Vancena had fanned 16 batters and walked just one in a no-hit NBC win last Wednesday at Elmwood.
“He was pretty dominant again today,” Lake coach Greg Wilker said. “He threw the ball really well, and Rossford has some young kids. Whenever he’s on the mound, we know we have a chance to be pretty good."
Rossford fell to 4-5 (0-2).
The Flyers had 12 hits in the game, scoring four runs in the second inning, one in the fifth, plus four more in the sixth off Asmus, who has hindered by his team’s seven errors.
Connor Bowen, Anthony Pratt, Brad Ackerman, and Aaron Witt each had two hits for Lake (10-2, 2-0). Vancena contributed an RBI double in the sixth.
Vancena was pitching in front of scouts from 12 Major League teams.
He is 4-0 this season with 53 strikeouts and seven hits, four walks, and one earned run allowed in 28 innings (0.25 ERA).
“We faced him last year and we knew what we were getting into today,” Rossford coach Alan Barnum said. “The kid knows how to pitch.
"Not only does he throw hard, but he’s got some off-speed stuff that’s pretty good.”