UNION CITY – Trent Collins tossed a Tuesday night 14-0 run rule no-hitter against the visiting Bethel Bees to give Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks coach Max Guillozet his first no-hitter in nine years at the helm of the Hawks as well as his first coaching win over Bethel.
“I didn’t even know until the last inning,” Collins said of his no-hitter. “I was – oh wait, I’m throwing a no hitter.”
“That’s the first pitcher I’ve ever had at the high school varsity level throw a no-hitter here in the eight or nine years I’ve been coaching,” said Guillozet.
“Trent is a good pitcher,” Guillozet continued. “He has some good off-speed stuff, he has a really good curve ball, he has some pop in his fastball and he can hit spots. He usually can keep it together mentally. That’s the big thing – being able to keep it together.”
Collins was in control on the mound the entire night throwing 44 strikes while only tossing 33 balls, striking out 11 and walking three on his way to a season opening no-hitter.
The Hawks sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first to take a 9-0 lead after one complete.
“We put a lot of work in when it comes to hitting,” stated Guillozet. “We work on that every night. I tell the guys there’s no reason – we’re stuck in that gym because the weather the way it is here there’s no reason you shouldn’t get 250-300 swings in every night. We have T-drills set up, we have live cages going. I throw batting practice every night to these kids and that’s what it takes.”
After a second inning opening walk, Collins quickly sat the Bees down by way of three consecutive strikeout, the first two swinging and the third looking.
“When it comes to baseball you got to have confidence in everything you do,” Guillozet noted of Collins’ confidence in throwing a 3-1 curve ball for a strike. “I don’t care if you’re batting, fielding, pitching, it doesn’t matter. You have to have confidence in everything you do if you want to be successful. It’s a tough game. You hear me say it a lot – play between your ears.”
Mississinawa Valley added two runs to the board in the bottom of the second to extend its lead to 11-0 with the teams heading to the third inning of play.
Neither team would dent the plate in inning No. 3; the only inning MV would go scoreless on the night.
Collins struck out the side in order in the top of the fourth as the big right hander got stronger as the game went on. Mississinawa plated three runs in their half of the inning in what would prove to be the Hawks last plate appearance of the night.
“I was…the sun is going down,” noted Collins, “I want to go home and get some food in me.”
Collins used his 10th and 11th strike outs of the night with the Blackhawks setting Bethel down in order to give the Mississinawa senior a 2019 season opening no-hitter.
“It was just an unbelievable feeling to get it done with this group of guys,” said Collins of the opening day no-hitter. “We have a great team.”
“I had to take Cody (Dirkson) out there in the fourth inning,” Guillozet said of his starting catcher. “He’s battling some arm issues right now. I brought Zach Longfellow in in the fifth inning to get the job done because Cody was struggling. He’s going to get that check out because he’s a vital part of what we do.”
“Every kid has a vital role, but your catcher is definitely a big part of what we do and he’s been a starting catcher since he was a freshman. That’s the thing with a lot of these kids – the varsity experience they have. I have four juniors that were starters as freshmen and I have three seniors that were starters as freshmen.”
“I have kids on this team that have played a lot of baseball. They don’t just play baseball from February to May and then put the stuff away. These kids are playing Legion ball, they play travel baseball and travel teams. This is one of those games you have to play in order to get good at it – you have to play it.”
“This program keeps getting better,” added Guillozet. “You start out, you take your lumps. These kids have stuck with me and they believed in what I try to teach them, and yes, there are times when I can be pretty hard on them but that’s just that part of it too.”
Zach Longfellow went 3-3 with 3-RBIs and 2-runs scored, Cameron Shimp was 2-3 with 3-RBI’s and a run, Trent Collins went 2-3 with an RBI, Ethan Dirksen 1-3 with an RBI and a run, Kyler Guillozet 2-4 with a RBI and 2-runs, Xavier Manning went 2-2 with 3-runs scored, Hawk Thomas was 1-1 with 2-RBI’s and a run, Max Dirmeyer was 1-2 with 2-RBI’s and 2-runs and Cody Dirksen and Caleb Trobrodge each score a run for Mississinawa Valley.
“I have a good group of young men,” concluded Guillozet. “They get me and I get them. They know.”
Reach Gaylen Blosser firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-548-3330