Redfield's Replays: July 3rd
MILLER ENDS SEASON WITH TWO NO-HITTERS
Blue Valley Southwest junior right-handed pitcher Miller Hogan ended the season like many dream, but few accomplish, with back-to-back no-hitters.
“Against Washington in the first game of regionals, he threw a perfect game,” BV Southwest coach Rick Sabath said. “Miller struck out 10 and went three-for-three at the plate in our 5-0 win against Goddard Eisenhower at the state tournament. He was touching 88-89 (miles per hour with his fast ball) in the seventh and walked only two. He retired 19 straight at one point.”
What is the secret of throwing back-to-back no-hitters?
“I would say the two most important things are the hours of practice we put in every week to be prepared and, most importantly, having a strong defense behind you,” Miller said. “Having a strong defense makes me feel so much more comfortable on the mound. It allows me to attack hitters instead of pitching around guys, which is a huge help.”
And back-to-back no-hitters are a rarity.
It has only happened once in Major League Baseball history. The only pitcher to accomplish the feat is Johnny Vander Meer in 1938.
The Timberwolf right-hander got an early start in baseball, and it was a trip to Boston that impressed him.
“I started playing T-Ball at 4 years old when I lived in Wichita,” he said. “We didn’t have a major league team, but I have loved baseball ever since I took the subway (in Boston) to Fenway Park and saw the Green Monster (the left field wall at Boston Red Sox‘s ball park).
“I was 9 and my first competitive team was coached by my dad. Of course, we were the Red Sox. I actually threw my first no-hitter that year.”
The right-handed pitcher says that his biggest strength as a pitcher is having consistent command of all his pitches.
“I typically throw a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, change up and a 12-6 (12 o'clock to 6 o'clock) curve ball,” he says. “Having the confidence and ability to throw pitches, other than fastballs, for strikes early in the count really help keep hitters off balance.”
He says that he is working hard to improve his fastball velocity and to get more movement on it.
Miller played basketball through his sophomore year at BV Southwest, but is now just a baseball player.
“In the off-season from November until February, I am involved in weight programs and indoor workouts to stay in shape” he says.
During the summer months he plays on the Mac-N-Seitz Red Sox team.
“I have been with the same coaches since I was 11,” he says. “We have had great experiences and opportunities traveling around the country playing showcases at different colleges.”
He is busy this summer playing baseball and preparing for his senior season for the Timberwolves.
“I want to play baseball as long as I can,” he says. “Playing in college or beyond would be a blessing and a huge thrill.”
EAST KANSAS LEAGUE SENDS FIVE PLAYERS TO DIVISION I
Brandon Lee, Blue Valley
The East Kansas League had an excellent showing at the state tournaments this year sending four teams to state action.
Blue Valley won the Class 6A state title, while St. Thomas Aquinas beat BV Southwest in the 5A state championship game.
And the league had five players who signed letters-of-intent to further their baseball careers at NCAA Division I schools.
Three players signed to play at the University of Kansas - BV Southwest catcher TJ Martin, BV West catcher Tanner Gragg and BV West third baseman/pitcher Ryan Ralston.
Blue Valley outfielder Brandon Lee signed with Army and St. Thomas Aquinas first baseman Alex Van Pelt will be playing at Wichita State.