Logan Reardon painted a near-masterpiece Thursday afternoon.
The Roxana High right-hander pitched a no-hitter as the Shells eliminated Staunton, 7-0, in a semifinal game of the Metro East Lutheran Class 2A Regional.
Reardon struck out 14 and got within two batters of a perfect game. One Staunton batter reached base via a wild pitch on a first-inning strikeout and the other got to first base on a fifth-inning infield error.
“It’s the best game I ever pitched,” said Reardon, a junior. “I was getting them out mainly with my fastball, but then I also went to my curve.”
Reardon became the second Roxana pitcher to throw a no-hitter in less than a week. Nelson Martz fired one last Friday against Greenville. Martz, a senior, will play for the Illinois team in the Illinois-Missouri Showcase next month at Busch Stadium.
“I realized by the third inning that I had a no-hitter going,” Reardon said of his gem. “So I got a little fire in me. I was relieved when I got the last out.”
Shells’ coach Nathan Smay added: “That’s the best I have seen Logan pitch all year. He struck out 14 in a game against Metro East Lutheran last season. Today, he had command of all of his pitches.
“He really had good stuff.”
Reardon, who struck out four batters in the opening inning and the first seven Bulldogs, helped his cause with a two-run single in a four-run third. Teammate Levi Wallace stroked a two-run double in that inning to get the Shells’ attack going. Wallace had two hits in all and Martz contributed a run-scoring single.
“That four-run inning really helped me,” Reardon said.
Roxana, now 15-15, meets 22-11 Southwestern at 10 a.m. Saturday in the regional finale. It’ll be Martz going against Piasa Birds’ ace Spencer Heineman. The MELHS champ advances to next week’s Warrensburg-Latham Sectional.
Elsewhere in 2A regional action, host Gillespie eliminated Litchfield, 10-2, and host Trenton Wesclin ousted Greenville, 4-1. Gillespie meets Carlinville for a regional title on Saturday at the Miners’ field.
Marquette Catholic 3, Columbia 1 – The Explorers improved to 18-10 by defeating Columbia in a nonconference game at Moore Park.
Marquette is cast in next week’s Highland’s Class 3A Sectional and plays a 4:30 game Monday at Triad. Civic Memorial is seeded first in the five-team regional that also includes Jersey and the host Bulldogs.
Alton 12, East St. Louis 0 – The 21-14 Redbirds finished Southwestern Conference play by thrashing the Flyers in a five-inning game at Moore Park.
Alton scored six runs in the fourth to shoot ahead 9-0 and then tacked on three runs in the fifth. The Redbirds had 12 hits in all, or seven more than East St. Louis.
Bryan Hudson collected two hits and three RBIs for the Redbirds. Matt Hopkins chipped in with two hits. Teammate Nick Paulda, who signed earlier in the day to play at Lindenwood University of St. Charles, Mo., drove in two runs.
Ben Cusac was the winning pitcher in a complete-game effort.
Jersey 4, Triad 2 – Jersey celebrated Senior Night in style with a Mississippi Valley Conference win over the visiting Knights.
Kyle Steckel went 3-for-3 and drove home a run to pace the Panthers. Kyle Obertino was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Alec Buettel struck out nine in five innings to get the win as Jersey hiked its record to 21-13.
A three-run fifth inning enabled the Panthers to erase Triad’s 2-1 lead.
Jacksonville State 7, SIUE 5 – The Cougars ended their season at 21-33 after losing their second game in as many days at the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
A three-run ninth made the difference for the Gamecocks, who outhit the Cougars 15-8. Leadoff hitter Nick Lombardo of Alton went 2-for-4 and drove in a run. Teammate Denton Reed was 3-for-4.
Andrew Bishop was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs in pacing 31-25 Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks bowed to Eastern Illinois, 2-1, in the tourney opener.
In one other tourney game, Tennessee Tech pounded Morehead State 14-2.