Spotlight: Pioneer’s Lleyton Lage Tosses No-Hitter – And Hits A HR In 1-0 Win Over Canton  

By Terry Jacoby/

Here is a script that Hollywood executives would laugh at before throwing a fastball into the bin – even The Natural was more believable than what happened on May 12 on the varsity baseball field at Pioneer High School. 

Canton was in the visitor’s dugout, facing a Pioneer lineup missing all of their seniors because that Friday was Senior Prom Night. Pioneer Coach John Knorr had to dance around a short roster and handed the ball to Lleyton Lage, a junior who had only one varsity start on his dance card.  

“I’m not a starting pitcher,” Lage said. “I have come into close some important games, but I didn’t really have time to settle in. Before the game, I was feeling great, but I didn’t really know what to expect from Canton because I have never faced them before.”

Feeling great – and getting better all the time.  

Lage began to put up zeros – not only runs, but hits as well.

He had a no-hitter through six innings, but with no seniors in the lineup, the Pioneer offense was out of rhythm. Lage broke the scoreless tie when he hit a home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. It would be the only run of the game.  

The junior tossed a complete game, no-hit shutout. He had five strikeouts and allowed only three walks in the opening game of a doubleheader with the Chiefs. 

“After I hit the home run, I had a feeling I was going to finish the no-hitter,” Lage said. “Late in the game, I tried not to think about the no-hitter and get too worked up, but I knew I had it going. I just tried my best to keep my emotions under control.”

After he got the last out, Lage said he experienced a “huge moment of relief.” “I think I was just as surprised as all the coaches and everyone in the stands,” he added. 

Lage, of course, praised his teammates for doing their part to secure the win and the no-hitter.

“There were a couple of really good plays by Elliot Pike in center field and Avery McEwan at shortstop,” he said. “Nothing surprised me though because we have been great defensively all year and I always know my boys are going to have my back in the field.”

Pioneer has had a challenging season so far. They are 8-20 but have lost eight one-run games – so they have been in most of their games. “As a team, we have been underperforming to our standards but there have been some really good signs leading into the playoffs,” Lage said. “I feel like we are on the brink of breaking through.”

Pioneer’s goal is to win a District title. They play a good Dexter team in the opening round on June 3 with host Saline (20-10) as the team to beat. 

“The key to our success is to get the bats going,” Lage said. “Our pitching and defense has been stellar all year but we haven’t had hits at timely moments. I believe our hitting will come around and if this happens we will make a deep run in the playoffs.”

Lleyton, 16, is the son of Suzanne Mrozinski and Larry Lage. He has a 3.878 GPA and is all-in on baseball. “I plan on playing baseball in college but the right opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet, so I am currently uncommitted,” he said.

If baseball doesn’t work out, he could turn to screenwriting. He certainly has an unbelievable script to offer.  

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