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Knights garner first win behind DeVries no-hitter
Ripon Christian pitcher Colby DeVries was in complete control for the Knights, twirling a no-hitter against Waterford in Southern League action Wednesday in Ripon.

RIPON – Colby DeVries threw a no-hitter Wednesday against Waterford.

The Ripon Christian High senior hurler fanned the first eight batters, allowing one walk and two base-runners in the 13-0 Southern League win.

All told, he registered 13 strikeouts in the five-inning affair.

“I was able to locate my fastball,” said the 6-foot-3 DeVries, who collected two hits with an RBI while scoring twice. “It was also a huge boost getting run support early on.”

His no-no was a much needed boost for the Knights (1-1, 1-6-1).

“We’re a better team than what our record showed,” RC coach John De Visser said. “We just haven’t been at full strength.”

He had to juggle his lineup against the Wildcats (1-2, 1-6). Freshman Danny Vander Molen worked behind the plate and Josh English was at shortstop for the first time.

English came up with the big play defensively in the fourth inning, hauling in a line drive while doubling up the runner at first base.

Waterford mounted its only scoring threat of the game, with Angel Sosa reaching base on an error and Jesus Vega drawing a walk with no outs.

DeVries got out of the jam with the double play followed by the strikeout-putout registered by Vander Molen.

RC jumped out to a 5-0 first-inning lead on five hits, two hit batsmen, and a walk.

Jon Vander Molen had a lead-off double, scoring on Chris Saenz’s two-bagger. DeVries followed, reaching on an infield hit. Dominic Nelson was plucked, loading the bases.

After Dustin Van Vliet was hit by a pitch to force in Saenz, English made it 3-0, plating DeVries with a single. David Henderson followed with an RBI single to score Nelson. Van Vliet came home on Kevin Kramer’s sacrifice fly.

The Knights added two more runs in the second thanks to Nelson’s two-run single. Saenz led off the frame with a double and DeVries followed with walk.

In the third, RC scored four times, taking advantage of Waterford’s struggling pitching and miscues. Saenz had a sacrifice fly and DeVries came through with a run-scoring single. Nelson produced a bases-loaded walk.

Jon Vander Molen had a lead-off walk in the fourth, scoring moments later on Nelson’s line-drive double that rolled to the 336 foot sign in center field.

As for DeVries, he retired eight of his first nine batters on strikeouts. It was about the third inning that he sensed the no-hit bid.

“I was feeling good,” said DeVries, who, prior to this day, had never thrown a no-no at any level of the game.

He finished the game much like the start, retiring the final four Wildcat batters on strikeouts.

“I think Colby can pitch at the next level,” De Visser said. “Today, he got the early lead that helped him (and our defense) to relax.”

In fact, DeVries’ command on the mound was such that no Waterford batter got anything past the infield.