Ty Ramirez, Zack Henderson combine on no-hitter in regional contest
Greendale pulls away to regional triumph
During its fabulous 2014 season, the Greendale baseball team has accumulated many memorable accomplishments.
On July 18, though, the Panthers achieved something that is actually somewhat historic.
Ty Ramirez and Zack Henderson combined on a no-hitter as the Panthers downed Franklin, 9-0, in a WIAA regional championship game.
This is believed to be the first time the Sabers have been no-hit in head coach Jim Hughes' 43-year career — at least, Hughes thought so.
"I don't think I ever coached a team that got no-hit," Hughes said. "I think that's the first time. I'm not sure, but I can't remember (a no-hitter)."
Ramirez escaped trouble
Ramirez worked the first five innings, striking out six and walking three.
In the first inning, he walked two, and the Sabers put runners on second and third with two outs, but he retired the side on a fly ball to center field.
After that, he faced only one hitter over the minimum.
"My fastball and curveball (were working)," Ramirez said. "My defense always had my back. I just made the pitches I needed to make when I needed to make them."
Greendale head coach Brian Johnsen echoed those thoughts, adding, "He makes the pitches when he needs to. The first inning was tough, but he made the pitches to get out of it, and then he just got better. He was throwing all his pitches for a strike at any time."
Henderson took the mound in the top of the sixth inning and finished off the no-hitter, striking out three and walking one.
This was the second time the two had combined for a no-hitter. They pulled off the feat last season against West Allis Central.
"This is pretty special for those two guys, to do it in the playoffs and against a great team like Franklin," Johnsen said.
Johnsen, who said he was not aware of the no-hitter until after the game, decided to take out Ramirez after the Panthers tallied eight runs in the fifth inning to blow open the game.
"We were going to take it inning by inning," Johnsen explained. "The plan was to go with Ty as long as he can, but then once we got the (big) lead, we were able to go to Zack, and it worked out very well for us.
"Once it got to be 9-0, and (Ramirez) was at 67 pitches, we wanted him fresh for Monday."
Greendale will next take on New Berlin Eisenhower, a 9-2 victor over South Milwaukee, at 11 a.m. Monday, July 21, in a sectional semifinal game at Greendale.
Muskego and Oak Creek will play at 3 p.m., and the championship game is set for 7 p.m., all at Greendale.
Sabers hung tough
Despite the mastery of Ramirez, the Panthers could not pull away from Franklin (12-20) for much of the game.
In the first inning, Angel Ramirez tripled to deep center field but was caught in a rundown while trying to score on a throw to first base after a chopper in front of the plate by Tristian Pipp.
In the next two innings, Michael Jankowiak and Adam Hoefs were thrown out on the bases.
"We really talked to our team about being aggressive, but we were aggressive in the wrong situations," Johnsen said. "As we tell the guys, though, we take the aggressive mistakes."
Later in the third inning, leadoff hitter Ben Moore singled and advanced on a walk, then took third on a wild pitch and came home on an errant throw to third, sliding under a tag.
Franklin starter Ben Zwitter kept his team in the game for four innings, but the Panthers broke it open in the fifth.
The first three batters walked, and Angel Ramirez drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly. After Pipp's infield single, Ty Ramirez and Sam Sabinash each lined RBI singles to center.
Jacob Hagmayer later singled in another run, and Henderson doubled down the left field line to plate two more and make it 9-0.
"We took advantage of the walks, and that's what good teams do," Johnsen said.
With a 28-3 record, the Panthers are more than just a good team.
"They've got something special there," Hughes said. "That's a special team."
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