By Mike Pilosof
Photo by Adam Shrimplin
Garden City, KS-There are a lot of really good pitchers in the Jayhawk Conference. But there's only one Logan Hofmann.
And boy did the sophomore put on a display on Friday afternoon.
Hofmann tossed a one-hit shutout, Enok Perez drilled his eighth homer of the season, and Colby beat Garden City 4-0 at Williams Stadium.
"We call him Mr. Hofmann," Garden City Head Coach Chris Finnegan said with a big smile. "I figure, if we find a way to beat him, then you just piss them off the rest of the series."
Hofmann rolled right through the Broncbuster lineup in the opener, retiring the first 10 batters he faced before issuing a one-out walk to Corbin Truslow in the fourth.
"He (Hofmann) was so upset he walked our guy, he came back to the next guy and just started dropping strikes in there, one after the other," Finnegan explained.
Meantime, the Trojans offense gave their ace plenty of support. In the third, Perez took Eric Heiman deep over the wall in left-center for a 1-0 lead.
"That was totally my fault on that pitch," Finnegan said. "I gave him (Perez) something to hit, and good hitters find a way to get on base."
Colby tacked on two more runs in the fourth, spearheaded by two Broncbuster errors. The last of which occurred when Chris Lara was trying to turn a double play. But his throw to second base landed in left field, allowing Jason Evans to score. Lachlan Ross followed later in the inning with an RBI fielder's choice, and the Trojans were up 3-0.
"They scored four runs, and we had two costly errors," Finnegan said. "That can't happen with who they had on the mound."
The Trojans scored their final run in the fifth. Matthew Coutney, the reigning NJCAA Gold Glove Award winner, singled to begin the frame; then came around on Blake Gallagher's sharp single to right-center.
"What's lost in this is that Eric Heiman pitched a really good game," Finnegan said. "But that gets overshadowed with how good Hofmann was."
Just how dominant was Hofmann? He threw only 72 pitches to record his sixth complete game of the season while allowing only three base runners. The sophomore carried a no hitter into the seventh before Truslow broke up the perfecto with a leadoff single.
Heiman was fairly impressive himself. The tall right hander surrendered just three earned runs on five hits in a complete-game loss. He tied a season high with nine strikeouts.