Dual no-hitters propel Vaqueros to sweep of Glendale Community College on April 13
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Coaches and pitchers know that a baseball no-hitter is a combination of dominance and luck.
The domination resides in the pitcher’s overpowering command and unwavering focus.
The luck comes into play because every dink off the end of the bat that rolls into nowhere land between the pitcher and catcher, or every flair that kicks up chalk down the right field line, evaporates a no-hitter quicker than an ill-timed sprinkler session on parched outfield grass.
While hundreds of thousands of pitchers have gone through high school, college and professional careers never coming close to no-hitting an opponent, on Saturday, April 13, the Central Arizona College baseball team unleashed a pair of stifling pitching performances that resulted in a no-hit doubleheader at Glendale (Ariz.) Community College.
Only the Elias Sports Bureau can confirm the rarity of such a doubleheader feat. If no-hitters are rare, two in the same day by the same team are in the atmosphere of landing a hole-in-one on a Par 5.
In the opener, freshman righty Nicco Blank (Tucson, AZ/Catalina) lived up to his moniker by shutting out the Gauchos 10-0. He faced one batter over the minimum, striking out one and walking two over 7.0 innings of work.
The Vaqueros grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third innings before tacking on another run in the fourth, but it wasn’t until their final two at-bats when CAC reeled off seven runs to grab a commanding lead.
Rookie DH Sean Hurley (Sarasota, FL) went 1 for 4 in the contest with a double, walk and four runs batted in. Sophomore CF Jon Kealoha (Honolulu, HI) went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI, while sophomore catcher Ross Hough (Bakersfield, CA) went 4 for 4 with a pair of runs batted in.
Sophomore 3B Ty Gilmore (Billings, MT) went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and one RBI, and freshman 2B Aaron Smith (Mesa, AZ) was 2 for 4 with two runs from his lead-off position.
For Blank, keeping the opposition hitless is becoming routine. He now has two no-hitters this year alone after holding Eastern Arizona hitless back on March 9 in a 5-0 CAC victory.
The two teams were scoreless through four innings before the Vaqueros scored once in the fifth, twice in the sixth and two more times in the seventh.
In game two on Saturday at Glendale, sophomore hurler Tatum Hendrix (Phoenix, AZ/Millennium) threw a 14-1, seven-inning no-hitter that ended under the 10-run mercy rule.
Hendrix threw 7.0 innings, striking out six while allowing one unearned run on four walks and a hit by pitch. He faced 27 batters – six over the minimum.
While the Vaquero blowout didn’t materialize until later in the game, it was Hendrix keeping the Gauchos from mounting any type of surge as he held a 2-1 lead through four innings.
The Vaqueros scored twice in the fifth to extend the margin to 4-1, but it was the six-run sixth followed by a four-run seventh that sealed the victory.
Sophomore CF Jordan Dunatov (Scottsdale, AZ) banged out three hits, going 3 for 4 with a pair of runs scored.Freshman Cody Farrell (Cheyenne, WY) went 3 for 5 with two runs, four RBI and a homer, while Hurley went 3 for 5 with three runs, a double, a homer and two runs batted in.