University of Illinois recruit Ryne Roper was perfect Tuesday afternoon.
The Harrisburg senior threw the first perfect game of his career, and his second no-hitter of the season, in a 7-0 win for the Bulldogs at Herrin.
“I couldn’t do it without our defense,” Roper said of his outing. “Cody (Hall) made of couple of good plays, Cooper (Thompson) made a diving play at first, (Ryan) Luce had a good catch in left, so I definitely couldn’t have done it on my own.”
Roper fanned 10 Tiger hitters and faced the minimum as he turned in his fourth complete game on the year. The right hander hasn’t been scored upon in his last 36 innings and saw his earned run average drop to 0.18 with the win.
“We made some very nice plays,” said Harrisburg coach Jay Thompson. “Roper’s pitching was fantastic, but they hit some balls on the head of the bat and we made the plays behind him.”
Harrisburg was able to get on the board with a three-run third inning. Cooper Thompson’s run-scoring double with two away kept the inning alive. Two more runs crossed the plate when catcher Brady Mayer was able to reach on an error in left field.
The Bulldogs tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth innings before scoring twice more in the seventh.
Senior Justin Younger had three hits and third baseman Matthew Phipps drove in two runs. Thompson also had two hits and drove in a run for HHS.
Harrisburg has won its last eight contests and took sole possession of first place in the Ohio Division of the Southern Illinois River to River Conference with the win.
The Bulldogs (16-2, 7-1 SIRR Ohio) have now swept the season series from Herrin (13-7, 6-2 SIRR Ohio).
Harrisburg has won the conference crown in baseball five of the past six seasons and has a game advantage with two remaining conference tilts at home- with West Frankfort and Benton.
“Herrin’s played awfully well this year, and they were right in there with us,” Thompson said. “We had a tough on coming in here on the road, and they’ve got a good club. It’s just a good win for us.”
Harrisburg is slated to travel to Carmi Wednesday afternoon and will host Frankfort on Friday.
Gallatin County 9, Carrier Mills-Stonefort 1
CARRIER MILLS - Zach McGuire struck out 11 and allowed just one run as Gallatin County knocked off Carrier Mills 9-1 in Greater Egyptian Conference action Tuesday.
Josh Bailey took the loss for Carrier Mills-Stonefort as he went 6.1 innings, allowing nine runs on eight hits and walked five.
Page 2 of 2 - Carrier Mills got on the board in the first inning when Darren Betz reached on a Gallatin County error and then scored on a Loren Whiting RBI single.
Gallatin put up six runs in the fourth inning, including a two-run RBI double by McGuire. The Hawks then added another three runs in the seventh.
The Wildcats are slated to host Goreville tomorrow at 4:30 p.m., while Gallatin County doesn't return to action until Friday when they travel to Pope County.