MINOOKA – Mitch Vogrin came up one pitch shy of a perfect game last season so the Minooka senior didn't want to miss out on a chance to grab a no-hitter.
That opportunity came Tuesday, and while the Indians right-hander again came up a bit shy of perfection on the mound, his performance wasn't far from it.
Vogrin retired the first 16 batters that he faced and didn't give up a hit, only allowing two runners to reach base while striking out 13 as Minooka captured a 7-0 Southwest Prairie Conference win over Plainfield East.
"I felt very confident with all of my pitches," Vogrin said. "I was throwing a fastball, curve, change and cutter, and was spot-on today, so I was feeling good. This was one of my top performances this season, along with the Providence game.
"I'm very confident in our defense and at our hitting has been kind of rough so far, but I think that we're coming around. This was a good all-around win for us."
Considering how many big games Vogrin (4-0) has pitched during his career, Minooka coach Jeff Petrovic wasn't too surprised to see him throw a no-hitter.
"Mitch sure was great [Tuesday]," Petrovic said. "He's a tremendously-talented kid but he's also a great person and he's so much fun to be around since he has lots of enthusiasm. He's also one tough kid. He goes out and pitches on a day where it's really cold and it doesn't bother him. But it's not a surprise since this is what he does.
"We've played well a lot. This is a good group of kids and they do a lot of things right. They're aggressive on the bases, play good defense and we've gotten outstanding pitching all year. We just need a few hits here and there, and we're getting those."
Minooka (9-2, 4-0) has benefited from some excellent pitching so far this season, with Tuesday's outing being its sixth shutout thus far.
The Indians were visitors in the game that was changed because field conditions. They scored a run in the first and added two more in the second to take control against East.
Cole Thompson singled home a run in the first, and Cristian Sanchez drove in two more runs in the next inning.
Minooka broke things open with a three-run fourth inning, when courtesy runner Sean Bell and Kenny Walsh came home on an errant pickoff throw and then Neal Tyrell tallied on a base hit by Sanchez.
The Indians scored their final run in the fifth when Tyler Paulsen came home following a liner by Walsh that smacked off of starter Ryan Roberts, who had to exit the contest as a result.
While the Bengals (4-6-1, 2-2) struggled at the plate, they did perform pretty well in the field, turning a pair of double plays while center fielder Drew DeMumbrum made a saving catch that prevented two runs from scoring.
East finally got its first baserunner with one out in the sixth when Stevie Dunlap reached on an error and Jordan Blackman followed with a walk. But Vogrin got out of the jam by getting a strikeout and a force play.
"He was dominant," Plainfield East coach Adam O'Reel said of Vogrin. "His arm action on his curveball is very similar to his fastball, which is really going to eat up a lot of high school hitters. He can definitely dominate some games and take over. We didn't swing the bats well, so it wouldn't have much anyway.
"But I thought that we did play well defensively. And I thought that our pitching was OK, but we had two breakdowns and Minooka doesn't beat themselves, so you can't expect them to make a mistake to let you into the game."