Soldotna head coach Ken Gibson congratulates Wyatt Gagnon after his two-run home run Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna head coach Ken Gibson congratulates Wyatt Gagnon after his two-run home run Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Ohnemus throws no-hitter to topple Kenai

The Soldotna baseball team defeated Kenai Central 8-0 on Tuesday at the Soldotna Little League fields behind a no-hitter from Trenton Ohnemus.

The Stars were able to avenge a 6-5 loss to the Kardinals on April 29 to move to 6-1 in the Northern Lights Conference and 9-2 overall. The Kardinals are 4-2 and 5-2.

The last time Ohnemus pitched against Kenai, he defeated the Kardinals in the 2023 Division II state title game.

Tuesday, he got SoHi its second no-hitter of the season. Three Soldotna pitchers, including Ohnemus, combined to no hit East on April 25.

There was initially some confusion about the no-hitter due to a ruling in the top of the seventh.

With two outs, Kenai’s Gabe Smith chopped a ball over the head of Ohnemus. Soldotna shortstop Andrew Pieh charged the ball, but did not field it cleanly.

The play was initially ruled a hit by Soldotna’s scorer on the GameChanger app, but SoHi head coach Ken Gibson said after the game he had the ultimate authority and charged Pieh with an error.

Either way, there’s no denying Ohnemus was dominant on the mound. He said he knew Kenai had trouble with his fastball so he looked forward to getting the ball Tuesday, especially after the loss to the Kards earlier in the season.

“We’ve been off and on, and it felt good to be even now,” Ohnemus said, adding the his fastball and slider were working Tuesday.

Gibson said Ohnemus was struggling to locate his fastball on the inside of the plate, but the velocity was good enough that the junior was able to stay out of trouble. The slider also kept Kenai off-balance.

“He’s one of the best in the state when he’s throwing,” Gibson said. “He’s competed at the Legion level and done well against all the other teams.

“He’s just good.”

Ohnemus walked two, hit one and struck out seven, throwing 52 of 84 pitches for strikes.

“We probably weren’t as aggressive as usual at the plate, but as I said, we’ll learn from it and get better,” Kenai head coach Luke Oliver said.

Gibson was mostly pleased with the way his hitters attacked Kenai pitching. The coach said it’s hard not to be happy with eight runs, but added that SoHi popped the ball up too much and let too many opportunities go to waste.

Everett Chamberlain gave up four runs in three innings, while Gabe Joanis gave up four runs — two earned — in 2 1-3 innings, and Jackson Marion got two outs without yielding a run.

Wyatt Gagnon finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs for SoHi, crushing a two-run home run in the third inning.

“If he stays choosy and looks for his pitch and gets that pitch, he hits it awfully hard,” Gibson said of Gagnon.

Matthew Schilling got on base all four times in the leadoff spot, reaching on a single, double and two walks. He scored three times.

“Matthew did a great job on the bases,” Gibson said. “He’s always pushing forward, and he’s got the speed to do it.”

Levi Mickelson also provided some pop in the back half of the order for SoHi, going 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

Oliver was not elated after the comeback win over Soldotna earlier in the season, and he remained on an even keel Tuesday.

“We’re focused on getting better,” Oliver said. “Whatever we can learn from any game, whether it’s a win or a loss, we want to learn and adjust accordingly.”

Soldotna pitcher Trenton Ohnemus delivers to Kenai Central on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna pitcher Trenton Ohnemus delivers to Kenai Central on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central shortstop Braden Smith throws to first base Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central shortstop Braden Smith throws to first base Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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