Fike endures no-hitter after big first win in American Legion Wood Bat Invitational

By Bill Althaus
The Examiner
Blue Springs Post 499 Fike shortstop Spencer Chase, left, handles a throw at second base and second baseman Brad Kitsmiller, back, looks on as DeSoto (Mo.) SMCI runner Nick Krodinger steals the base in their American Legion Wood Bat Invitational game Wednesday at Hidden Valley Park. Fike went on to a 9-0 loss.

Blue Springs Post 499 Fike got off to a thrilling start in the 32nd annual American Legion Wood Bat Invitational before falling prey to one of the most dominating performances in the history of the event. 

Shorty Campbell's two-out single in the bottom of the fifth inning gave Fike a 5-3 lead and it went on to claim a 6-3 victory over St. Peters (Mo.) Post 313 in the first game of pool play Wednesday at Hidden Valley Park’s Jim Moran Field. 

However, coach Matt Hagerty's squad didn't have long to celebrate as DeSoto (Mo.) SMCI Senators starter Levi Fischer collected four hits, scored three runs and drove in three runs in a 9-0 victory. Oh, and the 6-foot-3 righthander also threw a no-hitter. 

"Levi had a pretty good day," quipped Senators manager Sean Wiley in what had to be the understatement of the day. "He's had a tendency to overthrow lately, but he really had his fastball working today and got the job done on the mound and at the plate."

DeSoto (Mo.) SMCI pitcher Levi Fischer throws to a Blue Springs Post 499 Fike batter in their American Legion Wood Bat Invitational game Wednesday at Hidden Valley Park. Fischer threw a no-hitter and walked just two in a 9-0 win over Fike.

Fischer had a two-run double in the first and an RBI single in the fourth. He scored in the first, third and fourth innings and added a double and single to his big day at the plate. 

He dominated Fike on the mound, finishing with five strikeouts and two walks. 

"It was all fastball today," said Fischer, a graduate of DeSoto High School who will play for Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, Mo. "I threw a few sliders today, but my fastball was really working so I went with it most of the time." 

Despite the second-game loss, Hagerty was pleased with his team's first day. 

"It was great to start off with a win," Hagerty said, "and it's great to playing in the Wood Bat Invitational. We didn't have it last year (because of COVID-19), and it just feels so good to be back in a tournament that means so much to our team, and the other teams who are competing.”

Blue Springs Post 499 Fike's Shorty Campbell flips his bat toward the dugout after drawing a walk in Wednesday's game against DeSoto (Mo.) SMCI in the American Legion Wood Bat Invitational. Campbell, who drove in the winning runs in Fike's 6-3 win over St. Peters (Mo.) Post 313 earlier in the day, was one of only two base runners for Fike, which was no-hit by DeSoto's Levi Fischer.

Kayden Albertson was 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and three runs, Brad Kitsmiller added three hits and an RBI and Jaxon Rogan was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run to help Fike to the win over St. Peters. 

Jackson Rehkow allowed just two hits in three scoreless innings for the win in relief of starter Brett Stewart. Layne Lynn got the final out. 

"Shorty came up with that big hit to give us the lead in the first game and Jackson Rehkow pitched well in relief to get the win,” Hagerty said. “The second game, well, you have to tip your hat to DeSoto's pitcher. He had a great day at the plate and he threw a no-hit shutout. He did about all a player could do for his team."