Maxeiner throws a no-no
There are very few individual accomplishments in baseball better than throwing a no-hitter. Marian Central Catholic High School senior Ian Maxeiner achieved that April 17, leading the Hurricanes to a 6-0 victory over St. Francis High School, Wheaton.
Marian head coach Benji Winkelman noted Maxeiner had pitched well previously but had lost some close games, saying he was extremely happy for his pitcher.
“I was very pleased for Ian,” Winkelman said. “There isn’t a kid that deserves it more. He really works very hard. He was very hot. He was ahead of every hitter. I was very pleased.”
The no-hitter was almost lost in the fifth inning, but junior left fielder Kevin McEvilly made a terrific running catch to preserve it.
“Ian started someone out with a fastball that [the batter] was sitting on,” Winkelman said. “I was pretty impressed with Kevin. He got a great read, a great jump and ran it down. He had to cover a lot of ground; he was running to the fence at full speed and reached up looking into the sun and made a nice grab.”
“Kevin made a great catch to keep it intact,” Maxeiner said.
In seven innings, Maxeiner gave up three walks and hit a batter.
“Ian really helped himself,” Winkelman said. “Anytime he walked a batter, he got the next hitter to hit into a double play, and the one kid he hit with a pitch he picked off first.”
The key, according to Maxeiner, who had thrown a five-inning no-hitter as a freshman, was pitching to contact — to get ground balls — instead of trying to strike out batters.
Maxeiner said he didn’t start thinking about the no-hitter until the fifth inning and didn’t start feeling pressure until the seventh inning, but he didn’t let it affect his routine.
“It was one of those where I was thinking about it, but I wasn’t actually acting on it,” Maxeiner said. “I was going through what I did all day.”
Maxeiner said he was just happy the ’Canes defeated the St. Francis Spartans.
“It didn’t really hit me until the next day,” Maxeiner said. “I was congratulated by a lot of my classmates and friends. It felt pretty cool to be that guy.”