Engle Throws First Perfect Game in School History
Doane College pitcher Elliott Engle faced 21 Manhattan Christian College batters on Friday afternoon, preventing each one of them from reaching base to record the first recorded perfect game in school history. The Tigers won 7-0, earning their third straight shutout.
"Coach (Jorgensen) expects everyone to throw a perfect game when they take the mound," Engle said. "It's because we all have the capability to do it. The defense played well behind me and the catchers called a great game."
Engle's dominance showed in the first inning as he struck out two Crusader batters. He also kept second baseman AJ Spanel busy during the game as he finished with five assists. Engle struck out the side in the third and fifth innings while striking out two batters in the fourth and sixth innings.
The Tiger batters helped easy any early pressure by plating three runs in the first inning and two in the second inning. Spanel and Alomar Guzman had RBI base hits and Guzman scored the third run in the first inning on a wild pitch.
In the second inning, Doane took advantage of three errors. Nate Achelpohl reached on an error and scored on a single by Ethan Schroeder which included a fielding error on the left fielder. Blaine Carlile drove in Schroeder with a ground ball in which the pitcher missed the bag at first to record the out.
Doane added two runs in the fifth. Justin Povich pinch ran for Carlile after he singled. Two wild pitches allowed Povich to move to third base. Alex Arkfeld walked and proceeded to steal second base. The throw down skipped into center field, allowing both Povich and Arkfeld to move up a base, resulting in a run by Povich. Andres Rivera added a RBI-triple to close the scoring for the Tigers.
Engle describe one play in which he thought the perfect game may be over that came in the fourth inning. Alex Campbell hit the ball in the hole between first and second base but Spanel came up with it moving towards the right field line and threw an off-balanced throw to first, recording the out. Engle said after the game that Spanel called it a "routine" play.
The seventh inning saw Engle test his defense with ground outs to short and second for the first two outs of the inning. With a 1-2 count on Campbell, the pitch was sent back to Engle on two hops and he initially bobbled the ground ball. He kept his composure and picked up the ball, throwing to first base to record the final out.
"There was no way I was going to let that ball get away from me," Engle laughed. "I was going to block it down any way I could because I wasn't going to be the one to spoil the game."
Engle finished the game with 12 strikeouts in seven innings of work as he improved to 2-2 on the year. He has pitched shutouts in his last two outings, allowing two hits in a win over Baker University a week ago.
At the plate, the Tigers posted six hits while drawing six walks to score their seven runs. Rivera went 2-for-2 at the plate with a RBI to lead the offensive attack.