By getting close to perfection, Westhill baseball pitching ace Kevin McAvoy helped his team pull further away from the rest of the Onondaga High School League Liberty division challengers.
McAvoy took a no-hitter to the seventh inning of Friday's game against Marcellus, and though he had to sweat out the ending, the Warriors still beat the Mustangs by a score of 4-1.
It marked the second time McAvoy had pitched this week. He had gone five innings in a 10-2 win over CBA on Monday, striking out 10 and throwing 80 pitches. Three days later, he dealt with the same Marcellus squad he beat 9-2 on April 8 with 12 strikeouts in six innings of work.
On this day, of the first nine Mustang batters, McAvoy struck out seven, not allowing a baserunner. Meanwhile, Westhill turned a Marcellus error into a run in the bottom of the first on McAvoy's sacrifice fly and made it 2-0 in the third on Nathan Nigolian's solo home run.
Only the strong work of Mustang left-hander Jordan Smith kept the game within reach for the Mustangs, as he struck out seven in his six innings of work and blanked the Warriors after a two-run rally in the fourth that featured Nigolian singling home one run and scoring the other.
Into the sixth, McAvoy remained perfect. He retired 16 straight batters before plunking Brandon Amidon with one out in the sixth. Then McAvoy coaxed Paul Hastings into a double play, so his no-hitter remained alive.
Phil Zdanowski ended that quest with a long double to left to lead off the seventh. And it didn't end there, as Nick Sinay walked and, after McAvoy struck out Smith, Mike Sniffen also walked to load the bases with one out.
Staying cool, McAvoy struck out Jordan Vile, his 13th K of the afternoon, before Tim Schneider coaxed his own walk to bring home a run. Finally, with the tying runs on base, Mike Welsh grounded out to end it.