Anoka baseball players didn’t need to avoid Alex Farley for fear of jinxing his no-hitter. Not until they mobbed him at the mound after last Friday’s game did Farley even realize he’d thrown a gem.
Farley worked all seven innings in a 7-1 victory against Princeton, throwing an estimated 117 pitches, striking out 11, walking five and picking off two baserunners. The visiting Tigers scored in the top of the seventh inning, though Farley cannot recall the sequence.
He was also unaware of his solid work during the game.
“My second baseman, Riley Perry, comes up to me and says, ‘You’ve got something special going here, kid,’ ” Farley said. “When I asked what he was talking about, he said, ‘You’ll find out.’ ”
A called third strike on the final Princeton batter led to a crowd around Farley and many celebratory smacks of the left-hander’s backside.
The no-hitter capped an unusual day in Anoka baseball history. Before playing Princeton, the Tornadoes finished a game with Spring Lake Park that went 15 innings April 27, was suspended by darkness and twice postponed due to rain. Anoka won 6-5 in the 16th inning.
After shutting down Princeton, Farley and several teammates celebrated senior teammate Alex Glick’s birthday with a sleepover. Talk of baseball shifted toward the approaching playoffs.
Anoka (15-4) finished the regular season this week and is likely to begin play in the Class 3A, Section 7 playoffs May 28.
“We’re definitely in a playoff mind-set,” Farley said.
Dominating the field
Field event mastery fueled the first True Team track and field Class 3A state title for the Mounds View girls since 2010.
The Mustangs received 360 of their 888 points (41 percent) from five field events: high jump, long jump, pole vault, shot put and discus throw. Two seniors punctuated the dominance: Veronica Rasmussen (first in the discus throw) and Cassidy Smestad (first in shot put).
Eighth-grader Julia Fixsen contributed 51.5 points with second-place finishes in high jump and pole vault.
Park Center names coach
Former Hopkins basketball star James Ware has been named boys’ basketball coach at Park Center. Ware played at Texas Tech and has coached at the University of Minnesota, Utah State, Santa Clara and most recently Hopkins.