Tanner Clanton was the story of the night for Starkville High School’s baseball team.
In the midst of the Yellowjackets 8-1 victory over Greenville-Weston, the junior managed to produce a no-hitter featuring 11 strikeouts.
“(Saturday night) was absolutely fantastic,” SHS coach Brian Jones said. “That is what you always want to do. We could have done a few things better. You are never satisfied and always want to get better at things.
“Clanton did a phenomenal job with pitching. He absolutely poured it into the zone. He came out and did a fantastic job and I really could not ask for more out of him or the team.”
The eight runs for SHS came off seven hits dispersed throughout the game, while the Hornets lone run came in the final inning of competition.
The Jackets first run came in the bottom of the first off an RBI fielder’s choice from Jalen Campbell which scored Bryton Conley.
SHS had to wait until the bottom of the third to cross the plate again. A two-run double compliments of Max Bartlett brought Kyle Thrasher and Jalen Campbell home to give the Jackets a 3-0 lead.
Later that inning, Clanton had an RBI single to score Bartlett ending the scoring with SHS leading 4-0.
The Jackets mimicked the three runs from the third during in their portion of the fourth inning, highlighted by an RBI double from Conley to score Tanner Jones.
As the game wound down, SHS tacked on one more run to end its night victorious.
Although the Jackets gave up one run to Greenville-Weston which prevented the shutout, Jones is pleased with the effort of his team.
“We had a couple of plays throughout the game that were big-time plays that you have to have in those no-hitter games,” Jones said. “I wish we could have preserved the shutout, but in the end, it’s no big deal.”
Clanton ended his night with a no-hitter comprised of 83 pitches including 24 balls and 59 strikes.
“Early on, Clanton was really dominate,” Jones said. “Later in the game, he began to rely on the defense.
He gave up maybe two walks all night so it was a superb effort on his part.”
Jones knows that anytime you can start a season 2-0 it is a confidence booster for the players and he is anxious to see where they go from here.
“One of our things is we are not going to back down from anybody,” Jones said. “We are going to come out and we are going to fight until the last out every time. The kids have bought in and they are excited. Being 2-0, certainly helps with that excitement.”
SHS welcomes Columbus to town on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game.