Under six feet tall with a slender build, Glendale junior Noah Lachnit sure doesn’t look intimidating on the mound. But that doesn’t affect his mindset.
Lachnit threw first-pitch strikes to 25 of 31 batters on Tuesday evening, attacking Nixa hitters early and often, as his Glendale Falcons beat the Nixa Eagles 5-2 at Glendale High School.
Nixa sophomore Brett Hammit went 2-for-3 at the plate—the only player on either team with more than one hit.
With wind gusts blowing in from center at 20 miles an hour, Lachnit pitched to the elements, attacking Nixa’s hitters and walking none in the complete game win. Of his 89 pitches, 69 were strikes.
“He has no fear,” Glendale coach Mike Snodgrass said. “The other guy (Nixa’s Luke Hauswirth) had the better fastball, but Noah threw more strikes.”
Hauswirth was tough, too. The Nixa senior and Kansas State signee allowed just four hits and two earned runs in six innings of work. He threw 86 pitches, including 62 strikes. He was good, but unfortunately, his defense wasn’t. Nixa committed five errors on Tuesday—three of them leading to runs.
In the second inning, Glendale’s Cayden Stark reached on a throwing error and later, came around to score off Tanner Kellerstrass’ RBI double. In the third, after drawing a leadoff walk, Will Sachs took second base on an errant pickoff attempt and later scored on Owen Gann’s RBI groundout. In the sixth, Bronson Shoemaker scored from second base on another poor throw from Nixa.
“We knew we were going to have to play some small ball,” Snodgrass said. “We tried to emphasize laying off the high fastball, which is easier said than done.”
The Falcons routinely put the ball in play against Hauswirth, punching out only four times. When they put it in play and Nixa threw it away, they made the Eagles pay.
Nixa put men on base in all but one inning on Tuesday but struggled to come up with a big hit. All seven of their hits were singles, and they went just 2-for-14 with men on base.
The Eagles loaded the bases in the third inning with two outs and scratched across a pair of unearned runs. Dustin Bucker’s groundball to short was thrown away, bringing one run across, and Ryan Murphy followed with an RBI single to center, scoring another. In the sixth, trailing 3-2, Nixa put runners at second and third with one out, but Lachnit bore down and got out of the inning unscathed.
“I had to take it one pitch at a time,” Lachnit said. “Try to get one out at a time. You have to take it like that or things get too big. That’s when you mess up.”
Lachnit struck out Jayson Kinser swinging and then got Peyton Hannah to tap it back to him, ending the threat.
After the game, both teams stood on the field for a moment of silence for former Glendale coach Howard Bell, who passed away three years ago to the day.
Nixa 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 7 5
Glendale 0 1 1 1 0 2 X 5 4 2
WP: Lachnit (7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
LP: Hauswirth (6 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)
Nixa: Hammit 2, Belcher, Murphy, Dent, Kinser, Hannah
Glendale: Gann, Clinkenbeard, Stark (2B), Kellerstrass (2B)