Kountis loses no-hitter and game in ninth

July 11, 2007

Losing a perfect game in the ninth inning was bad enough for pitcher Jonathan Kountis and the Alaska Goldpanners.

But then the tough-luck Panners lost the Alaska Baseball League game 1-0 in Kenai Tuesday to the Peninsula Oilers.

Kountis, a 19-year-old who just finished his freshman year at Ohio Dominican University, set down the first 24 Oilers batters but entered the ninth inning in a scoreless tie because the Panners’ batters only mustered four hits of their own.

Kountis’ troubles began when he gave up a leadoff single to right field by catcher David Genao, a .133 batter this season who has played in just six of the Oilers’ 25 games.

Kountis then committed an error on a ball hit by shortstop Adam Younger, putting runners on first and second. Following a sacrifice from Kyle Melton, the Oilers had runners on second and third bases with one out when leadoff hitter Michael Dabbs singled to right to score the game’s only run.

Kountis, a 6-foot-3 righthander who entered the game with a 5.32 earned run average, saw his record slip to 2-2. He struck out seven (all of them before the end of the fifth frame), allowed two hits and did not walk a batter. The Goldpanners fell to 11-12 overall and remain in last place in the ABL at 5-10. Peninsula won its fourth straight and improved to 15-10, 7-10.

The Panners wasted several scoring opportunities. In the fifth inning, they had two runners aboard with two outs when Matt Dempsey lined out to right field. In the sixth, Chris Valencia doubled with two outs but then Brent Wyatt lined out to center. And in the seventh, the Panners chased Peninsula starter Tyler Fleming by putting runners on first and second with one out, but Chris Lum and Troy Hamilton promptly struck out swinging against reliever Steve Goins.

Fleming threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings before Goins and John Dunn combined for 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief for the Oilers.

The Goldpanners have now lost five of their last six after winning a pair of games last week against Peninsula at Growden Memorial Park by a combined score of 15-6.

Tuesday’s game was the opener of a four-game series which resumes today at 7 p.m. in Kenai.

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