The perfect game
Published 9:56 am Wednesday, March 31, 2004
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- John Kessick had just two pitches to spare Tuesday evening.
The senior right hander capped off a perfect game with just 73 pitches in the Niles varsity baseball team's season-opening 2-0 win over visiting Edwardsburg.
Kessick faced the minimum 21 batters, striking out 15 with no walks. In a stretch from the second to sixth innings he fanned 13 straight batters.
The closest Edwardsburg got to a hit was when Anthony Peak hit a hard ground ball to third base. Peak nearly beat out Jesse Sallak's throw, but was called out.
On any other day, Edwardsburg pitcher Jesse Johnson's performance would have been the story of the game. The lefthander gave up just four hits and struck out six batters with three walks.
Defensively, both teams played well in the season opener. Niles had no errors and the Eddies had just one.
Edwardsburg's lone error was costly. Following a single by Niles' Kyle Kidwell in the bottom of the sixth inning, Johnson walked Cory Coquillard. Kidwell advanced to third base on a pair of wild pitches to set up the winning run.
Kessick hit a ground ball to Edwardsburg third baseman Steve Gowen, who tried to make the play at first base instead of at home plate. The throw was high and Kessick reached first base safely and Kidwell crossed home plate.
A ground ball to short stop off the bat of Lyle Watson scored Coquillard for Niles' final run.
Josh Henry, Rick Storm, Coquillard and Kidwell each singled for the Vikings.
Tuesday's contest was scheduled as a doubleheader, but only three innings of the second game were completed before the game was stopped due to darkness.
Niles' Adrian Davis and Henry each doubled in the second game while Matt Richardson hit a single. Richardson pitched in the second game, giving up four hits and two runs.
Zac Rooney hit a pair of doubles for Edwardsburg in the second game. Jimmy Archambault and Anthony Peak each singled.
Jeff Mortimer started on the mound for the Eddies in the second game, giving up one hit and one run. Nathan Peak came on in the third inning and gave up two hits and two runs.