Christian Brothers' Talbert throws no-hitter at Placer

Placer allows six unearned runs in 11-0 loss
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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On a gloomy afternoon at James Field, two pitchers shined on the mound.

Unfortunately for the Hillmen, Christian Brothers’ Steven Talbert proved to be too bright.

The left-handed junior Talbert threw a no-hitter Friday in Auburn to help the Falcons earn a five-inning, 11-0 victory over Placer.

“He did a really good job today,” Placer coach John Hilton said of the opposing hurler. “Give him all of the credit. He kept us off balance. He came in with his off-speed, some of the batters said he had a bit a knuckle, too. Then he’d set you up and bring the ball in hard. He did a really good job of moving it around and keeping us off balance. I give him all the credit. He did a fantastic job today.”

Placer (1-4) managed to get only one runner on base in 16 at-bats. Tyler Gums got aboard in the second on an error when he hit a sharp grounder to the left side of the infield and Christian Brothers’ first baseman wasn’t able to cleanly scoop the throw.

But the lack of offense, Hilton said, wasn’t his biggest issue he had with his squad’s loss.

“Our bigger concern right now is our inconsistent pitching and defense,” the coach said. “I sound like a broken record, after every game we mention it.

“… We have to stop making errors. A little stat we like to watch is free bases. We gave up 12 free bases today in just five innings — meaning they got on by an error, we walked them or hit the batter.”

The Hillmen trailed 7-0 by the time starter Logan Markstein exited the game with two outs in the top of the second. Once again, Placer’s pitchers weren’t entirely responsible for the damage done of the scoreboard, as the team continued to make multiple errors in the field.

Six of the 11 runs Christian Brothers (3-0) scored were unearned.

Southpaw Chandler Skinner-Horne pitched 1/3 of an inning in relief of Markstein before senior Kodiak Gregersen took the hill.

Gregersen, Placer’s only returning senior pitcher, allowed just one run in three innings of work.

“He did a nice job coming in there,” Hilton said. “He really helped us out.”

Gregersen’s outing, however, wasn’t enough to save the Hillmen from playing a shortened game because of their 10-run-plus deficit. 

The Hillmen have a quick turnaround and little time to clean up their mistakes, as they host Golden Sierra Saturday at 6 p.m. under the lights at James Field.

“You’ve got to have a short memory and bounce back,” Hilton said.

After the Golden Sierra contest, the Hillmen will have two days to address their problems, Hilton said, as Pioneer Valley League play gets underway Wednesday at Center.

As of Friday afternoon, Lincoln (4-0) and Foothill (3-2) are the only PVL teams with winning records. Colfax (1-2), Center (1-2) and Bear River (0-2) are all below .500.

Nonetheless, Hilton believes league foes will all capitalize against the Hillmen if their woes continue.

Said Hilton: “They’ll all take advantage of us if we put ourselves in these holes.” 

Reach Matthew Kimel at Follow him on Twitter@matthewkimel