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Woodbury-Middlebury SportsBeat: Thrill of the No-Hitter

No-hitters are on the rise in high school baseball and they are special moments for the pitchers who toss them.

 

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Tom Murray of St. Bernard High School in Uncasville set the Connecticut state record in 1969 for most no-hitters in a career with eight. Murray ended his junior season by throwing three consecutive no-hitters and opened his senior year by tossing two more.

Those records will probably never be broken, but the way pitchers from around the area have been dominating in the first two weeks of the season, things could get interesting. Three pitchers have already tossed no-hitters in the month of April:

  • April 11- Trumbull's Gerard Spiegel strikes out 12 in a He retired the last 19 batters in a row.
  • April 13- Mike Davis of Newton High School tallies nine strikeouts while .
  • April 16- senior pitcher, Dave Cherry, is brilliant against Immaculate of Danbury, striking out 15 en route to his no-hitter.

"I think all the no-hitters are good for the game," Pomperaug head baseball coach Mike Eisenbach told Patch. "I have been coaching for 21 years and had never been a part of one. Dave Cherry was overpowering and it was really exciting to see the expressions on all the kids' faces. It was definitely a great moment."

Baseball is a game that certainly can produce a lot of special moments, but it's also a game that's filled with tradition and players who are superstitious. There is an unwritten rule that when a pitcher has a no-hitter going, his teammates must continue to do the same things like sit in the same spot on the bench or wear the baseball hat a certain way. But above all else, nobody should ever interrupt the routine of the pitcher.

"No one said a word to Gerard (Spiegel) said coach Phil Pacelli after watching Spiegel throw a no-hitter against Darien. "We just acted like nothing was going on."

It seems like during every no-hitter, there is one play that absolutely has to be made to preserve it. A diving catch, a spectacular throw, or a quick tag can turn a good performance into a great one. That happened during Cherry's no-hitter when he got a little help from one of his teammates.

"In the fourth inning, there were two outs and a man on first," Eisenbach told Patch. "There was a ball hit up the middle and our shortstop, Matt Paola dove for the ball and then tossed to the second basemen to get the force out, end the inning, and keep the no-hitter in tact."

Pitchers are normally ahead of the hitters at the beginning of the season, but it's pretty unusual to see some many no-hitters this soon. Mitch Hoffman, head baseball coach of , said there could be another reason for them.

"The bats. This year all the bats have to meet BBCOR regulation so they are all pretty much the same and nobody has an unfair advantage. The balls don't jump off the bats like they used to and you're not seeing as many cheap hits anymore. Teams are adjusting their defenses because of it and that's probably why there have been a lot of no-hitters," Hoffman said.

Whatever the case, there is nothing like a no-hitter and when a pitcher records the final out not many events can match the feeling of going through a game without allowing a hit.

"It's cool," David Cherry told the News-Times. "You don't think you can do it and then you do it. It's pretty awesome."

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