Wednesday night’s’ 3-0 win for the Cougars was also head coach Butch Valdes’s 200th with the program.
Both Durant and Plant City entered Wednesday night’s game at Cougar Path without a loss, and it was the home team that ended a long scoring drought late in the game to lock up the 3-0 win.
A pitchers’ duel started by Durant’s Ronnie Galletti and Plant City’s Preston Rogers kept fans of both teams on their toes through the first five innings. Galletti threw a no-hitter, struck out seven Raiders and walked two in his five innings of work. Rogers struck out six Cougars and gave up three hits in the first five innings. Weston Sanchez, who earned the save for Durant, fanned four batters and gave up just one hit in two innings of relief work.
The Cougars finally caught the break they needed in the sixth inning when Oscar Fernandez drew a walk with one out, Dylan LaPointe and Dean Hotz loaded the bases with back-to-back singles and Javy Quintana drove in Fernandez to give Durant a 1-0 lead. Then Carlos Morales finished up the scoring with a two-run double to score courtesy runner Nick April-Gath and Hotz, respectively. Tanner Rollyson came in to relieve Rogers and induced a flyout to end the inning.
Wednesday’s win also marked a big milestone for Durant coach Butch Valdes, who now has 200 victories with the program.
With the win, Durant improved to 3-0 on the season and has now outscored opponents by a total of 17-1. The Cougars will visit Wharton (2-1) at 10 a.m. Saturday. Plant City moves to a 2-1 record on the season and will play at Steinbrenner (1-2) at 7 p.m. tomorrow.