Brooks Richards was one batter away from throwing a season-opening perfect game as the Bethel Wildcats shut out Purcell’s Dragons 14-0 Monday.
Richards had already retired two batters in the bottom of the fifth before issuing his one and only walk on a 3-2 pitch. The game was stopped after five innings on the run rule.
“That was a great job by Brooks of getting ahead of hitters,” said Bethel coach Todd Brown. “And I was real happy with how our offense came out swinging the bats. They came out and did a great job.”
Richards (1-0) struck out four on the day and threw only 49 total pitches. The Wildcats played errorless behind him.
Bethel led 2-0 after three innings, then exploded for eight runs in the top of the fourth. The Wildcats picked up a dozen hits on the day as JT Ketch led the charge at 3-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in.
Hunter Heath, Kieser Hladik and Marcus Washburn notched two hits apiece — Hladik with a double. Heath and Washburn each drove in two runs.
Bethel, now 1-0, will host Tecumseh at 4:30 p.m. today for a varsity/junior varsity doubleheader.
Note: Report compiled by Jason Smith.