NCL II baseball: St. Vincent’s Oliver nearly untouchable

By PETER FOURNIER
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Dusty Oliver doesn’t come across as an overpowering right-handed ace until you see him careening fastballs towards home plate.

Oliver struck out seven and allowed just two hits, not walking a single batter for St. Vincent de Paul High in a 12-0 victory over Tomales on Friday.

“Dusty, we brought him along a little slow this year because he had a sore arm at the beginning of the year, but now he’s been pretty much hitting his stride,” Mustangs coach Gary Galloway said.

He’s up to full-speed now. Against the Braves, Oliver struck out the side in the third inning and sat down their first eight hitters of the ball game.

“I felt great,” he said. “My fastball was working. I had a few curveballs that got away from me but I thought most of the time … I was letting them hit the ball and it was hitting the (infielder’s) glove, every time.”

Despite the two-hitter, it wasn’t his best start of the year. The junior tossed a no-hitter in his last start, striking out six and walking three in a 2-0 victory last Friday against McKinleyville in the Fort Bragg tournament.

“Before the game, I felt a little better than my normal days,” Oliver said. “I felt a little more amped, my arm felt better than usual.”

He felt so good he pitched through the entire game not realizing what he was accomplishing until he was stampeded at the mound when the final out was recorded.

“I actually didn’t know I had the no-hitter until after the game,” Oliver said. “My teammates came running up to me and congratulated me. I was questioning it about the fifth or sixth inning.”

It’s not unusual for Oliver to block out something that’s happened during the game while he’s on the diamond.

“I just focus on mechanics a lot of the time,” he said “Sometimes I even forget what’s happened.”

He’ll reacquire a sense of what’s happened when he returns to the dugout.

“It’s something weird, but I’ve been doing it all my life,” Oliver said.

Galloway said Oliver did a good job of working his way out of jams last week.

“He got a couple of guys on base with a couple of errors and just one walk,” Galloway said. “He worked out of every situation.”

As for Friday’s game, St. Vincent put up three runs in the first and second innings before putting up a six spot in the third inning to run away from Tomales.

Alex Neve had a double and four RBIs, while George Sammon, Max Cowell, Michael Carroll and Will Nevin each had an RBI for the Mustangs. Ryan Dunbar and Cody Titus had the only hits for the Braves.

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