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Is the pitching ahead of the hitting? Two high school no-hitters say yes.

Renville County West baseball coach Steve Agre lets the flow of the game dictate how he manages. It paid off for the Jaguars in their season opener.

Junior righthanded pitcher Griffin Howard threw a no-hitter while striking out 12, leading host Renville County West to a 4-0 victory Friday over Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove.

"I really wasn't planning on throwing Griffin a complete game on opening day," Agre said. "His pitch count remained low, and he was not in stressful pitching situations."

Howard finished with 98 pitches, retiring 16 consecutive hitters during one stretch. He walked one and hit two batters.

"Griffin looked sharp from pitch one," Agre said. "He really kept the ball down, and for the most part even his misses were down in the zone. His curveball was sharp, and he really mixed his offspeed well."

Agre had another reason to not remove Howard: The Jaguars are coming off a 2-15 season during which their opposition scored in double figures 10 times.

"I felt that coming off of a two-win season last year, it was important to get the season off right this year for the confidence of the team moving forward," Agre said. "We do not know what the rest of the season holds for us, but for the morale of the team it felt good to get the first one."

One for Zumbrota-Mazeppa

Zumbrota-Mazeppa sophomore righthanded pitcher Hudson Ohm didn't take the hill for the season opener. He waited for the home opener, the second game of the season, and he gave his fans something to see.

Ohm pitched a no-hitter, striking out 15 and walking one in a 4-0 victory Friday over Caledonia. The Cougars went 15-5 a year ago. They opened this season with a 12-2 loss at Pine Island.