WF West 5, Black Hills 0
(Chehalis, WA) Due to an odd number of teams in the Evergreen 2A Conference, one school is off from league play every week. That meant Black Hills was opening up league play on Tuesday against the WF West Bearcats who came in 4-2 overall and 2-0 in league play. It would be a rough welcome to a loaded league as Hunter Lutman stole the show and didn’t need much offensive help. Only four Wolves reached base and only one got to second as Lutman dominated through seven innings to complete a no-hitter as the Bearcats took down the Wolves 5-0.
Fans could tell Lutman was feeling it early in the ballgame as he faced the minimum through three innings and only allowed one walk in the first three frames. That lone walk was erased when Deacon Meller threw a bullet to second to cut down the stolen base attempt by Xander Shepler. Six punch outs through three innings for Lutman was just the tip of the iceberg for the Bearcat right hander.
The offense for WF West started to come around in the 2nd. A leadoff walk for Weston Potter followed by a bunt single for Evan Stajduhar got the Bearcats going. A couple of wild pitches and an RBI groundout by Jeron Martin gave the Bearcats a 2-0 lead. WF West added another run in the 3rd when Gavin Fugate singled, worked his way to third and scored on an error making it 3-0 going into the 4th and it would stay that way into the 5th.
The top of the 5th was the only real danger for Lutman in the entire game. A leadoff walk to Mark Otto and a passed ball gave the Wolves a runner on second with nobody out. It was the first and only time Black Hills would have a runner in scoring position. Lutman took it upon himself to get out of the trouble. He would strikeout the next three batters to keep his dominant outing alive as well as the shutout with WF West still leading 3-0 going into the 6th.
WF West pushed across a couple more runs in the 6th to lead 5-0 with Hunter Lutman three outs away from a no-hitter. A strikeout looking got the top of the 7th going as Lutman had to go through the middle of the Wolves order to complete the no-no. Blake Klinger would pinch hit for Black Hills and drew a walk to put a runner on. A slow roller to Fugate at first was out number two but Klinger advanced to second. Another pinch hitter for the Wolves brought Willy Kytta to the plate as the last chance for the Wolves to get a hit. Lutman quickly got ahead of Kytta 0-2 before throwing his last pitch of the game. That pitch would be a ball but catcher Deacon Meller came up throwing and threw Klinger out at second for a unusual finish to a no-hitter.
After the game Lutman said it didn’t matter to him what the final out was. It was all about getting the job done.
The job was done as WF West earned a 5-0 win and Lutman’s teammates swarmed him coming off the field after throwing a complete game no-hitter. Lutman walked just four batters but two of them were erased on the base paths and struck out 12 batters in his unbelievable performance. Lutman obviously was named our Thorbeckes MVP of the game as well.
On the no-hitter Lutman said he didn’t really notice it until later in the game.
“It was about the 5th when I realized what was going on and thought it would be really cool if I could finish it.”
There was one thing he said that really stood out when looking back on everything.
“It felt like a normal day. From warmups and throughout the game nothing felt special. It was just normal.”
If that is going to be the normal for Lutman this season, then the rest of the state has been put on notice because he is well on his way to a very special season.
With the win, WF West moves to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in league play. Black Hills now sits at 0-4 and 0-1 in league play as the teams will meet again at Black Hills High School in Tumwater on Wednesday at 4:30.
Don’t forget, if you want to relive the special performance, you can catch the replay on-demand on the NFHS Network.