By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
Following two tough losses to first-place St. Scholastica on Sunday, the Bethany Lutheran baseball team was in need of a pick-me-up Monday afternoon at the BLC field.
Enter junior Cory Ferm.
The right-hander tossed the first no-hitter of his career, leading the Vikings to an 8-0 victory over area rival Martin Luther College. MLC came back to win the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference nightcap 5-1.
“That was a nice job by Cory,” Bethany coach Ryan Kragh said. “He’s been doing that for us all season.
“I’d say that was par for the course for him today. He’s been our ace almost all season.”
Ferm, who said he took a one-hitter into the ninth inning in a game earlier this season, said he’s never thrown a no-hitter dating back to his high school days.
“I’ve come close, but that’s the first one,” Ferm said “My changeup was working well today. I’d start the hitter off with a fastball and then, when I mixed it my change, it made the fastball looked faster than it really was.”
Ferm said he didn’t realize he had the no-hitter until the game was over and his teammates started congratulating him.
“There was a play at short in the eighth inning that I thought might have been a hit (off the bat of Joel Herring),” he said. “I guess it was an error.”
Ferm faced just one batter over the minimum as he struck out eight and walked two. The BLC defense turned two double plays behind him.
While Ferm was shutting down the Knights’ lineup, seven BLC players were compiling at least two hits. Nate Lee finished 2 for 4, including a three-run homer in the fourth. He finished with four RBIs.
Lucas Herd and Ferm were both 3 for 5. Joe Tuholsky, Dylan Gass, Clint Aretz and Deric Poldberg finished with two hits apiece.
Martin Luther turned the tables in Game 2, getting a nifty six-hit pitching effort from Jake Ziel over nine innings. He fanned eight and walked two.
The Knights erupted for 12 hits against two Bethany pitchers. Aaron Stokke, Joe Janke, William Jensen and Tyler Dorn ripped two hits apiece for the winners. Tuholsky and Adam Geiger each had two hits for Bethany.
“We couldn’t keep it going in the second game,” Kragh said. “Our bats disappeared again. We need to get those going (Tuesday) so we have some momentum going into the conference tournament.”
The Vikings (13-13, 9-3 in UMAC) have a doubleheader at 1 p.m. today at Northwestern. The UMAC Tournament begins Friday at Duluth.