EVERETT — Same opponent. Same field. And once again, a shutout on the line.
The situation Case Matter found himself in Friday night was very similar to last year’s district title game, when he fell just one out short of a no-hitter after reaching the pitch-count limit.
This time, the Jackson ace got to finish the job.
Matter struck out 12 batters and pitched a two-hit shutout to lead the Jackson baseball team to a 1-0 win over Cascade in a chilly Wesco 4A pitcher’s duel under the lights at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“Day in and day out, he’s always one of the best in the state,” Timberwolves catcher Ben Steck said of his standout pitcher. “He’s always spot-on. His fastball is always super firm. Curveball is always great. Changeup is always great. … He’s a tough guy to hit off.”
Matter was spectacular on the mound, but the night’s top play belonged to Cascade shortstop Benjamin Hansen.
With a runner on third and two outs in the bottom of the second, Hansen made a sliding stop on a hard-hit grounder to his right. Then, in one motion, the Cascade senior popped up off the turf, pivoted and fired a strike to first base for an inning-ending defensive gem that saved a run.
“He’s a very talented defensive player,” Benson said. “You put him on turf and it’s almost unfair. We see that stuff from him a lot.”
The Timberwolves and Bruins are scheduled to conclude their two-game series at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Cascade High School.