Prep baseball | Palmetto lefty Tyler Bench no-hits Manatee in 1-0 victory

Palmetto lefty strikes out 13 in 1-0 triumph

jlembo@bradenton.comMarch 13, 2014 

PALMETTO -- A fist pump and a scream.

That was the extent of Tyler Bench's celebration Wednesday night.

The Palmetto lefty caught Manatee's Kevin Acevedo staring at a 2-2 fastball to record his second no-hitter of the season and clinch a 1-0 victory for the Tigers.

It wasn't until he heard the home crowd scream, however, that Bench knew what he had done.

"I was just trying to go out there and throw some strikes," said Bench, who is headed to State College of Florida in the fall. "As soon as they yelled pretty loud, I knew I had it."

Bench threw plenty of strikes at the Hurricanes -- 62 of his 89 pitches, to be exact. He also struck out 13, 10 in the final 4 1/3 innings.

"It's a great feeling, knowing you can come out and help your team win," said Bench, who no-hit Booker earlier his season. "Really, that's all I was trying to do."

Bench allowed three base runners, hitting one batter and walking two. One of those free passes came to Max Moneuse leading off the seventh.

But while Moneuse stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Bench struck out Jake Dominick, Robert Rew and Acevedo to close out Manatee (6-4).

Bench had at least one strikeout in every inning and punched out the side in the fourth and seventh.

"He went out there, he threw strikes, and he executed his pitches. He's done a great job of calling his own game," said Tigers coach Phil Olson, whose team is 5-6. "I've been very happy with him."

Roughly a dozen pro and college scouts came out to see Manatee starter Weston Davis, whom MaxPreps ranked 83rd on its list of the country's top 100 players in the class of 2014.

The hard-throwing righty stranded five runners in the first five innings and finished with five strikeouts while allowing six hits, including three to Bench.

Palmetto was able to break through in the sixth when Bench led off with a single and his courtesy runner, Chase Forrester, swiped second. After a passed ball moved Forrester to third, Hunter Leonard's booming double to center accounted for the game's only run.

"He threw the ball great (Wednesday)," Manatee coach Rob Viera said of Davis. "He's grown up a lot this year. He understands what's ahead of him, knows where he needs to be. (Pitching coach) Donny Robinson has done a great job with him. We've got a major league pitcher as a pitching coach who just sits with him and talks to him, and he listens. He's learned a lot this year."

The game ball stuffed in his back pocket, Bench acknowledged that no-hitting the Canes, one of Palmetto's chief rivals, felt pretty sweet.

"That's probably one of my greatest accomplishments in high school. I know a lot of those guys; I've played with a lot of those guys," Bench said. "It's a great rivalry, and to do that against them is huge. Absolutely huge."

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