Through two innings Saturday, the scorecard read zero hits, two errors and three strikeouts.

The score, though, read Refuel 7, Crowley Miller 0.

Patient at the plate, the Shaw-based group drew eight walks, in addition to two batters awarded first base after receiving inside pitches to the elbow and kidney, and hit a sacrifice fly to cushion themselves by seven in the top of the third.

Then the no-hitter ended.

Sophomore Joshua Pantoja blooped a two-strike fastball to shallow right for an RBI double to spark a two-out, three-run rally.

Ahead 10-0, Refuel weathered the rain and a surge from Crowley Miller for a 12-2 win at John Ryan Stadium in the opening round of the American Legion state tournament.

“It seemed like as soon as they took the mound, it started raining a bit. The balls started getting wet, looked like their pitcher was having some control issues due to those factors,” Refuel manager Kirk Bullinger said.

“Our guys remained patient and tried to force the pitcher to throw strikes. Take your pitch, don’t help out.”

The forecast moved the tournament from Delgado’s Kirsch Rooney Field to Jesuit High’s field, which provided smoother, less slick greens.

The turf field, however, couldn’t prevent Crowley Miller from slipping, as their pitching staff walked in five runs.

Pantoja claimed one and drove in two more to finish 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Sophomore Matt Keller had three RBIs on 1-for-2 hitting, including two sacrifice flies to right field.

Three others had at least one RBI.

“I’m a big kid, so I didn’t have much issue gripping the ball,” sophomore pitcher Keith Meier said.

“From there, I relied on my fastball, which I’ve been able to control pretty well.”

Twice, Crowley threatened to no avail, grounding out and popping out in consecutive at-bats with the bases loaded against Meier.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound left-hander threw a two-hitter, striking out five batters in five innings for Refuel, which will play Brother Martin-basked Peake BMW at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.


Senior second baseman Kyle Habetz drilled a two-run single through the gap in the seventh for Crowley Miller’s only runs.

“Some days these things happens,” Meier said of his teammates’ ability to score seven runs before getting a hit in the third inning. “Sometimes, consistency will be off, especially with the weather being a factor. You just have try to play through it.”