JEFFERSON CITY – Whenever Hickman senior Andrew Roseman pitches, his father, Paul Roseman, gets nervous. He's been that way since his son was in Little League.
And when Paul Roseman gets nervous, he's rarely stationary. Throughout Hickman's 2-1 win over Smith-Cotton on Saturday in the first round of the Class 5, District 9 tournament, he constantly moved around the Kewpies' fan section.
"I've done it the same way all the time," he said. "I get nervous, and he stays calm, and it all works out for the best."
First, he was in the top right corner of the bleachers, away from any other fans. He alternated between sitting with his arms crossed, occasionally rocking back and forth and being the only person standing in the section.
Meanwhile, Andrew Roseman was effortlessly setting down the Tigers' order. He went 3-0 on the first hitter of the game, but threw three straight fastballs for a strikeout.
Smith-Cotton had difficulty catching up with that pitch all game. Roseman's low throwing angle gives the pitch an extra bit of tail at the end to complement its high-end velocity, creating a popping sound in junior catcher Colby Fitch's glove like a shotgun blast.
Roseman's breaking ball, which blurs the line between a slider and a curveball, was also working especially well. He could consistently throw the pitch for a strike and threw it in almost any count.
"He was just locating it," Fitch said. "It was pinpoint, wherever I called it, he was throwing it, and that's what you got to do to win games."
Though the Tigers got a run in the fourth inning from a walk, a wild pitch and two sacrifice fly balls, they were still hitless at that point.
Then Paul Roseman left the stands and started pacing around the area behind the dugout and bleachers, his arms staying crossed save for warming his hands and occasional applause. He rarely spoke, taking upon himself the silence that is usually reserved for the pitcher throwing a no-hitter.
Hickman took some of the pressure off the younger Roseman when senior shortstop Ryan McMahan tied the game with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Senior third baseman Aaron Tajnai added to the score when he plated senior first baseman Jonathan Jones with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
That was all Roseman needed, as Hickman's only hiccup after that point was when Smith-Cotton's Ian Dotson reached in the seventh on an error by senior second baseman Cory Riley.
The next batter lined into a double play, and Roseman blew a fastball by Spencer Ruckman to end the game. The no-hitter was in the books.
With their minds already on the next game in the tournament, the Kewpies' celebration was relatively subdued, considering Roseman's accomplishment. Relief in getting the win seemed to be the prevailing feeling in the crowd.
Paul Roseman stopped pacing and took a spot by the dugout, wearing a wide smile. He almost seemed happier than his son.
"It just feels good," he said.
Hickman will advance to play rival Rock Bridge in the district semifinals in a game set for 4 p.m. Monday at Vivion Field in Jefferson City.
Supervising editor in Grant Hodder.