SOUTH CHINA — The knee injury that sidelined Erskine Academy’s Noah Bonsant during the entire basketball season didn’t scuttle his baseball season too, but it did slow the big senior down. After weeks after rehab and building up arm strength, Bonsant was ready to see how he felt in a long outing Friday against Waterville.

It’s not too early to declare Noah Bonsant healthy, and that should be a boost to the Eagles as they make a playoff push over the second half of the season. Bonsant took a no hitter into the sixth inning. He gave up a one-out single to David Barre, the final hitter Bonsant faced, before turning the ball over to Caden Turcotte, who got the final five outs to clinch the 3-0 win.

“The thing about Noah is, he’s team first. Even if he had a no-hitter in the seventh, if he was tired he’d tell me. It’s just good to see him back doing something,” Erskine coach Lars Jonassen said.

The win moved Erskine to 4-5, while Waterville fell to 5-4.

Bonsant’s breaking pitch wasn’t sharp, but his fastball popped. Bonsant struck out seven and walked four. Bonsant said he knew he had a no-hitter going as he took the mound in the top of the sixth inning. He also knew that as he approached 80 pitches, he was tiring.

“I wasn’t trying to let (the no-hitter) bother me at all,” Bonsant said. “It was a long outing. I was just running out of gas out there.”

Waterville leadoff hitter Kai Rabideau reached on an error, and after a sacrifice bunt by Kody Vallee, Bonsant walked Cody Pellerin. With one out, Barre broke up the no hitter with a sharp single to center field to lead the bases, and Bonsant’s day was over.

“He told me he was gassed. His stamina’s the big thing, because we’ve been rehab, rehab, rehab. Throw every other day. Throw 35 pitches, throw 40 pitches. He’s never really come out and competed that long,” Jonassen said.

Turcotte got a popup and a strikeout to end the Panthers’ threat.

“I knew Caden could come in and throw pretty well,” Bonsant said.

“Noah back and healthy definitely helps for them. He was throwing fastballs we were a little late on,” Waterville coach Russell Beckwith said. “We barreled a couple up but hit them right at guys, too.”

A strange play in the bottom of the second inning led to the game’s completion with one umpire. With Nick Barber on first base, Bonsant singled to right field. Home plate umpire Shawn Forkey tripped as he ran to cover third base, and was down for a few minutes before leaving the game. There was a short delay as base umpire Keith Morang put on his gear and went behind the plate, where he called the rest of the game alone after each team agreed to a one-man crew.

After the delay, Joe Clark singled to score Barber and give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Erskine added two more runs in the fourth, when Chandler Moore and Clark hit back-to-back doubles, and Nick Howard added an RBI single.

Twice, Waterville stranded runners at second and third base with less than two outs.

“We had that weird inning there with the home plate umpire going down and catching things in the middle of it, and they were able to capitalize on it,” Beckwith said. “We had a couple times, guys on second and third and the bases loaded there in the sixth, with two outs to go in both of those situations. You hope to push across a run or two there.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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