History was made on Thursday night at Hyde Stadium in Pierre.
Pierre Trappers pitcher Fischer Rausch threw a no-hitter in Thursday’s 5-0 victory over the Wheat City Whiskey Jacks. It was the first no-hitter in Pierre Trappers history, and the second in Expedition League history.
When asked about how he was able to throw a no-hitter, Rausch credited his defense.
“I had a heck of a defense behind me today,” Rausch said. “I honestly didn’t feel great, but my slider was working. I had the stuff, and I pounded the zone. I had a couple of mistakes, but I’m just relieved. It’s been a long game.”
Rausch walked four Whiskey Jacks batters while also striking out 10. Rausch told the Capital Journal that his roommate motivated him to Thursday’s performance.
“My roommate last night threw seven innings,” Rausch said. “He asked me if I was going to do better than him tonight. I said we’ll have to see. I guess I did better than him. These guys are great. They motivate me every day. They picked me up, and I got a good defense. It’s a lot of fun when you’ve got a lot of guys playing good baseball.”
Trappers coach Monterrio May said Rausch’s performance was not something you see every day.
“We’ve got a couple of guys leaving at the break,” May said. “I told them that was the perfect way to go out. Seeing a guy throw a no-hitter is something they may never see again, especially for a teammate. I didn’t even say one word to him (Rausch) throughout the entire game. I could tell he wanted me to say something, but I didn’t, which was kinda weird. He felt good through three, and I thought he was dominating tonight. We got through the sixth, and I was thinking he might keep this up. He started laboring a bit there in the seventh and eighth, but he picked it back up. I was so proud of him.”
Rausch was buoyed by quite the performance by Trappers hitters, who all achieved a hit in the win. Cole Yancey and Richard Williams led the way with two hits each, while Williams and Ty Stauss had two runs batted in. The Trappers scored runs in the second and seventh innings. May told the Capital Journal that getting good at-bats was an emphasis.
“Lately, we’ve had a focus on not leaving too many guys on base,” May said. “Tonight, I felt like we were trying to put the ball in play and cut down on our strikeouts. We were aggressive when we needed to be. Overall, I thought we had good at-bats. When I looked at our quality at-bats chart, we were at 67 percent. I told this team at the beginning of the year that if we were 60 percent quality at-bats, we would win almost every game we play. We were at 67 tonight, so I’m proud of them.”
On the other end, Ronny Piepmeier took the loss for the Whiskey Jacks. He allowed two runs on six hits in six innings, walking two and striking out four.
Thursday’s win was the second straight for the Trappers, who defeated the Whiskey Jacks 6-5 in 12 innings on Wednesday night. The Trappers (13-30 overall, 4-10 in second half) will play the Whiskey Jacks (18-25, 4-9) at Kraft Field in Grand Forks. Games on Friday and Saturday are scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. CT, while Sunday’s game will start at 4:35 p.m. CT. The three games are the final games before the Expedition League All-Star break. May said the wins feel like the building blocks of a good run.
“We’re definitely using these last two wins as momentum,” May said. “That’s going to be huge for us going forward. Our nucleus is starting to gain momentum, and we’re just going to build on that.”