To many in the crowd, it was just another in-county division game. Ingomar and West Union battled for seven innings with the Falcons coming out on top. But the pitching performance of one Ingomar senior quickly became the talk after the 9-0 win.
Tyler Dowdy can name the times he’s thrown a no hitter. Twice just last season, allowing one walk in each. But Tuesday night’s performance topped any game he has had on the mound, as he threw a perfect game, allowing not one Eagle batter on base the entire evening.
“My goal this year was to get that perfect game, and my defense played awesome behind me,” Dowdy said. “About the fourth or fifth inning, I started noticing that no one was getting on base as well as the score. It started running through my head, and I started hearing some whispers throughout the game.”
Ingomar built a 4-0 lead after two innings, and by then Dowdy had struck out four of six West Union batters. The Falcons added three more runs in the fourth with Cade Hall, Joseph Broom and Kelton Hall bringing in runs.
Ingomar added two more runs over the final two innings, and defensively, head coach Andy Wilbanks credited not only the efforts of Dowdy on the mound with 10 strikeouts, but his entire team for their play behind their pitcher.
“That’s where it starts, good pitching. Anytime you have a kid that can go out there and throw a perfect game, it makes my job easier and it makes the team play harder for him,” Wilbanks said. “I think this is probably the best defense we’ve played all year. I’m proud of him for commanding the strike zone and throwing three or four pitches for strikes all night.”
The accomplishment for Dowdy comes only a year after an injury that sidelined him for several weeks last season.
“I feel like I’m better now than I’ve ever been,” he said. “I’ve worked out really hard last summer to get back in shape, and Coach Andy and them did what they needed to to get me back and helped me a lot.”
The Falcons cannot afford to focus on just one performance, as a date with Myrtle in division play is coming up next Tuesday.
“We’re in a good spot, but we have a long way to go. Our division is a grind with us, West and Myrtle, so it’s all about whoever shows up,” Wilbanks said. “You can just as easily lose as you can win. We’re going to try to press on and get at it and hopefully we’ll have some more success later down the road.”
Now at 9-4 (3-0), Dowdy noted how much the team has grown, as they continue to focus on their goal of reaching state.
“We started out really young, and these guys have grown up,” he said. “Everyone is taking on their own roles, playing for Ingomar and not for themselves. The goal is always to go all the way, we want to make it to state.”