Skip to main content

Cade Miller tosses first no-hitter; Fairfield defeats Manchester in pitcher’s duel

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
Fairfield's Cade Miller celebrates after recording the final out of his no-hitter, Monday vs. Manchester. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

LEESBURG — The longer the game went, the better the pitching was by Fairfield senior Cade Miller, who on Monday night tossed a no-hitter against the Manchester Greyhounds. 

The no-hitter wasn’t easy, though, as the Lions didn’t score any runs until the bottom of the sixth inning, as Fairfield eventually defeated visiting Manchester 2-0 in their Southern Hills Athletic Conference battle. 

In the no-hit bid, Miller finished allowing no runs on no hits and one walk in seven innings on the mound. Miller finished with 13 strikeouts on 87 pitches. Manchester had two base runners via the aforementioned walk and an infield error. 

“I really tried not to think about it too much because you know the age-old saying, like, ‘you say it out loud, it's going to break it,’” Miller told The Highland County Press. “It’s the first time I've ever done it. My pitches were working, especially my curveball, so that was a big help, and it just felt amazing.

“[Being a close game] did help a lot because every pitch meant something, every single pitch. I couldn't take a single pitch off. That definitely helped.”

On the other side was Manchester pitcher Luke Applegate, who also pitched a complete seven innings, as he allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits, no walks and five hit batters.

“What can you say about Cade tonight?” Fairfield head coach Kyle Zimmerman said. “I’ve got him down for 13 strikeouts. Cade’s composure on the mound this evening was phenomenal. It was a tough ballgame. Manchester’s Luke Applegate threw a gem of a game for them as well, but Cade, nothing fazed him. That’s senior leadership right there.”

The bottom of the sixth for the Lions started with Gabe Fouch taking first base after being hit by a pitch in an impressive 10-pitch at-bat. Zane Matthews followed as he too was hit by a pitch in the ensuing at-bat, moving Fouch to second. Matthews finished the game 1-for-1 with one run with a double and was hit by two pitches. 

Fouch took third on a wild pitch and on that same pitch, Matthews raced to second base. After the first out was recorded on a ground out — keeping both runners on their respective bases — Fouch scored on another wild pitch, tying the game at 1-1, with Matthews taking third base in the same sequence of events. 

Cody Frost gained what became the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the sixth as he grounded out to the pitcher, allowing Matthews to score from third, putting the Lions ahead 2-1 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. 

“I've talked all year long with these guys, and they get sick of hearing it, but two terms we rely on heavily are redemption and attrition,” Zimmerman said. “Baseball's a game of redemption. You can have a bad day at the plate, or a bad day in the field, and you can make up for it real easily in that game. Attrition, that's what won the game for us tonight, wearing them down. I told them, I said look, we just got to keep after it, keep doing what we can do and it'll come.

“I don't know if Luke got a little tired or what, but a couple of mistakes were made at a key point. We capitalized, and that was that was a big factor. That was the factor in the game tonight. Gabe Fouch and Zane Matthews did a tremendous job when they were on third base in the bottom of the sixth.” 

In the top of the seventh, Miller completed the no-hitter as the senior pitched possibly his best inning of the game with a swinging strikeout on four pitches, a groundout to third base (on an 0-2 count), and the final out was a called third strike on a three-pitch at-bat. 

“That second run coming back on the top of the seventh for our team and especially Cade, that was big because that second run, you can relax just a little bit,” Zimmerman said. “In the last inning there, I think he only threw one curveball. He just came back with gas. He was bringing it. 

“Cade’s a strong kid. The basketball program has helped him. They've worked out, we’ve continued that in the baseball program, and that fitness is what separated him today.” 

Miller agreed about the two-run lead helping him in the final inning.

“I definitely put a little more on the ball that last inning,” Miller said. “We had two runs, we had insurance, but I just wanted to get it done and over with as quick as possible. It feels good to get back in the win column for sure.”

To start the game, in the top of the first Miller faced three batters, ending the inning with two strikeouts and a pop out. Miller faced three batters in the second inning where he forced a groundout, a called third strike for a strikeout and a popup to first base that was caught by Corbin Willey on a 2-2 count. 

In the third inning, Miller again faced three batters, this time having two swinging strikeouts for the first two outs, followed by a line out to Willey at first base for the third out of the inning. 

In the fourth inning, Miller struck out the first batter he faced on four pitches for the called third strike, forced a fly ball to left field that landed in the glove of Nolan Campbell, and the third out of the inning was a strikeout in four pitches by Miller. 

Miller returned to the mound in the fifth inning where the first out was recorded on a ground out to shortstop Fouch in a three-pitch at-bat. Next was a strikeout where Miller made the batter miss with his swing, and the inning ended with a called third strike. 

The top of the sixth inning was a little interesting as the first out came with a strikeout by Miller, and the next batter took first base on an infield error. Then came a walk, putting two Manchester runners at first and second base with one out. 

Next came a swinging strikeout produced by Miller on five pitches, and the inning ended with an out to left field, keeping the no-hitter intact. 

As for the Lions at the plate, it was Miller with the other hit of the game for the Lions, as he was 1-for-3 with a steal. 

The win moves Fairfield to an overall record of 3-2, with a SHAC record of 2-1 this season. Manchester falls to 2-2 overall, with a SHAC mark of 0-2. 

“As far as today is concerned, it's a great team win,” Zimmerman said. “We had pinch hitters come up. We had guys that haven't started for us make some huge plays. Nolan Campbell made a couple big catches for us. Otis Cockerill got drilled by Applegate. He took one in the ribs pretty hard, but he was DHing for us today. Carson Chandler came in and pinch hit. 

“Everybody was willing to do a job, no matter how minuscule that it was, to get as a team win tonight, and when it's all said and done, that's the deciding factor.”

    000 000 0 — 0 0 3
FHS    000 002 x — 2 2 

Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.