PALMER — During their first four meetings of the season with the Anchorage Bucs, the Mat-Su Miners fell just short.
Thursday, during the second game of a doubleheader, the Miners found a way to beat the Bucs in a big way. Lefthander Kyler Bush tossed a no-hitter and led Mat-Su to a 2-0 victory over the Bucs at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
“He really attacked hitters, putting them in swing mode,” Mat-Su head coach Tyler LeBrun said as the team made its way back to Palmer late Thursday evening. “He was pounding the zone, throwing his off-speed pitch for strikes.”
LeBrun said Bush kept his pitch count low and hitters off balanced. The change-up was really effective, LeBrun said.
“Any count, he could throw it,” LeBrun said.
Bush, a 6-foot-5 lefthander, recently completed his freshman season at Washington State. LeBrun said Bush boasts a fastball, curve and change-up. LeBrun also praised the lefty’s work ethic.
“He works his butt off and he’s willing to make adjustments,” LeBrun said.
LeBrun said Miners pitching coach Jeff Urlaub had suggestions for Bush early in the season.
“He was able to make those adjustments right away,” LeBrun said. “He bought into it.”
The Bush no-hitter was Mat-Su’s first since July of 2016, when Jacob Hughey, Jordan Frederick, Tyler Wyatt and Jordan Floyd combined to allow zero hits during a win over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer. The Bush no-hitter is also the ninth in team history.
Mat-Su jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Aaron Walters and Kody Huff notched back-to-back run-scoring singles. Erik Webb, who drew a lead-off walk, and Walters scored runs for the Miners.
Bush helped Mat-Su force the doubleheader split with the win. Anchorage edged the Miners 5-3 earlier in the day.
The win was also Mat-Su’s first in five meetings against Anchorage in the last six days. LeBrun said its was great to get the win over the Bucs. The no-hitter was the exclamation point, LeBrun said.
“We’ve played them tough every game,” LeBrun said. “It’s good to get a win under our belt.”
Three of Anchorage’s four wins against Mat-Su have been one-run games.
During the first game of the doubleheader Thursday, Anchorage used a three-run fourth to grab a 5-3 victory over the Miners. Huff led the Miners, finishing 2 for 2 with a run and an RBI. Sam Thompson also drove in a run. Webb and Collin Montez also scored runs.
The Miners were slated to be back in Anchorage Friday night to play the Glacier Pilots, but that game was postponed due to field conditions. The game has been rescheduled and will now be part of a doubleheader on June 22.