Gramelspacher no-hits Centralia, puts Rochester on brink of postseason


ROCHESTER — It was about the end of the third inning when the Rochester dugout began thinking about it.

Henry Gramelspacher had worked around a couple of baserunners in the second, but he had struck out the side in order in the third, and he hadn’t allowed a base hit to that point.

Per baseball tradition, no one dared to mention it.

“I thought it, but of course wasn't gonna say anything,” Rochester coach Brad Quarnstrom said with a laugh. “And I didn’t even wanna go look.”

Gramelspacher finished the no-hitter by retiring the final nine batters he faced, and the Rochester offense did its part to earn a 10-0 run-rule win over Centralia.

Gramelspacher ended up retiring 17 of the 19 batters he faced, only issuing a walk and hitting one batter, and he racked up 10 strikeouts.

“Third, fourth inning, I kind of just stopped thinking and got into the groove of it,” Gramelspacher said. “I dialed in and played my game.”

As he finished his sentence, Kole Smith and Ethan Rodriguez snuck up from behind and dumped a full water cooler onto him.

Drenched, he explained how Rochester, which has won four of its last five games to put itself in a playoff position, has been able to strike a balance between being intense and playing loose.

“We’re going out there and just playing our game,” Gramelspacher said. “We’re playing Rochester baseball.”

On Tuesday, that included a fair share of small ball, as the Warriors (8-7, 4-5 2A EvCo) laid down several bunts and often went station-to-station to put runners in scoring position.

They did the most of their damage in the first two innings, where they scored six runs. Ethan Rodriguez opened the scoring by crossing the plate on an error, and Smith knocked an RBI double into the gap.

In the second, Colton Weiss, Mason Ubias, and Tate Quarnstrom all hit RBI singles to make it a 6-0 game.

After Gramelspacher helped himself with an RBI single in the fifth, Smith made it 9-0 with a two-run single in the sixth, and Tayden Martin came through with the run-rule walk-off single, a chopper up the middle.

“We were able to do good things at the plate by just putting it in play,” Quarnstrom said. “We didn’t have world-beaters off the wall, but you don’t have to … Things add up.”

The Warriors also played flawless defense. After a runner reached to open the second, Ubias caught a fly ball deep in center field and doubled him off at second. 

It was the first time since March 18 that the Warriors didn’t commit a single error.

“You start doing all those things together, you look pretty good,” Quarnstrom said. “Today was a good day for us.”

Rochester now has the chance to clinch a district tournament berth with a win in the rematch against Centralia on Wednesday. With a loss to Rochester, the Tigers (6-9, 3-6 2A EvCo) would be eliminated.

“We’re still not out of it,” Centralia coach Jake LeDuc said. “Did we make the road harder for ourselves? Yeah. But that’s baseball … We gotta be positive. We gotta expect to win, and come out ready tomorrow.”