Joe Hope's No Hitter Leads Parkway North to the Class 4 Championship Game
Fri June 1, 2012
Reported by Jack Witthaus
The Parkway North Vikings rode on Hope tonight.
In a game where the Vikings offense could only put up one run on the board, sophomore starter Joe Hope held the Willard Tigers hitless in the 13th no hitter in MSHSAA championship history.
"I felt really good tonight," Hope said. "I was a little shaky all week, but it just came. It was awesome."
Hope threw seven strikeouts and walked two in the 73 pitch effort. Although his team committed two errors, Hope spotlessly assisted on three plays, including a pickoff.
The only offensive support for Hope came in the bottom of the third. After fouling a pitch just shy of being fair, SLU commit Michael Bozarth broke the scoreless tie with a rocket down the third base line, scoring Viking second baseman Daniel Brodsky. Bozarth was then called out attempting to swipe third base.
Willard's starting pitcher looked nearly as good as Hope. Going seven innings, Tiger's starter Anthony Caenepeel threw six solid innings, striking out ten and walking only two.
"He's a good pitcher," said Bozarth, the only Vikings hitter to reach base twice. "He spotted everything low. Everyone was off balance."
Caenepeel's support, however, couldn't rally in seven frames. The Tigers never advanced a runner past second base the entire night.
In the seventh, Willard almost evened up with Parkway North. Tigers first baseman Jed Owen reached on an error and was sacrificed over by right fielder Michael Burgess.
Hope stayed strong, however, and retired the next two batters.
"We've been the underdog all the way," Hope said. "We've been swinging the bats well all during the tournament. (We've had) good pitching from our freshman (Joey Reeves)."
Parkway North will take on Rockwood Summit in the finals tomorrow at 4 p.m. in Meador Park. This appearance is North's first in the State finals. Neither team has won a State championship.
The Vikings defeated Summit 10-9 in their first game of the season on March 21.