Taking care of business

Strong pitching leads Wildcats to 1-0 victory over Mustangs


Evan Vaslow

Junior Jaxson Cahoy threw six scoreless innings for the Wildcats. His 10 strikeouts led Millard West to victory.

Evan Vaslow, Staff Reporter

The Wildcats Baseball team traveled to Millard North on April 21, for a rivalry matchup against the Mustangs. Both teams had been having strong seasons so far, and were in the top 10 going into the game. 

Starting on the mound for the Wildcats was their ace, junior Jaxson Cahoy, who entered the game with a team-best three wins and a superb ERA of 1.05. Senior Lev Denenberg — the Mustangs’ ace — got the start for Millard North. Denenberg’s 3-0 record and 0.67 ERA led all Mustangs pitchers.

The Wildcats offense came out swinging right off the bat, with senior Kyan Lodice lacing a leadoff single. However, Lodice was caught trying to steal second base, and the Wildcats couldn’t score. 

Cahoy got off to a strong start in the bottom of the first, setting down the first three Mustang batters in order.

“We were on turf this time, so that makes fielding a little easier,” Cahoy said. “Defense just came in and shut them down, and didn’t let anything through. I just get up there and do what I do, and they do what they do, and it just all works out.”

In the first at-bat of the second inning, junior Avery Moore drove one deep over the fence in right center, putting the Wildcats on the board with a solo homerun. West couldn’t get anything going in the rest of the inning, but the damage was done: the Wildcats led 1-0.

“I’d been struggling a little bit lately,” Moore said. “He was sitting outside, so I just scooted up to the plate and swung. It felt good [off the bat].”

Cahoy’s second inning of work went just as smoothly as his first, retiring all three batters he faced. He struggled more in the third, allowing the Mustangs to get two runners on with just one out. However, he recovered quickly, as two straight fly-outs got the Wildcats out of the inning unscathed. 

The fourth, fifth and sixth innings saw more great pitching from Cahoy and Denenberg. Neither team could score, sending the game into the seventh, still 1-0.

With Cahoy’s pitch-count at 104, coach Steven Frey opted to send senior Carter Betts out for the bottom of the seventh. It was smooth sailing for Betts, as he set the Mustangs down in order, securing the save for himself and the win for his team. 

With both teams’ aces on the mound, the story of the game was pitching. Cahoy and Denenberg combined for 13 innings with only one run. Cahoy had 10 strikeouts and gave up only two hits while Denenberg had six strikeouts and gave up five hits. This was Cahoy’s fourth scoreless outing of the season (including a complete game shutout against #1 Millard South), improving his ERA to 0.80 on the season.

“He’s been outstanding,” Frey said. “Basically, he’s shut down every team he’s pitched against.  In my opinion, he’s one of the best pitchers in the state of Nebraska. He’s 84-86 [mph] and throws a really good slider at 76-78 mph.  He throws a lot of strikes and doesn’t walk too many hitters.”

With this win, the Wildcats improved to 16-8 on the season, further solidifying their place in the top ten rankings. Their next two games will both be against top ten teams, as they face Westside on April 26 and Bellevue West on April 27, and they’ll close out the regular season on May 3 at Creighton Prep.