By Brian Gaul, Concordia (Calif.) Director of Athletic Communications
IRVINE, Calif. - In his second-ever start for the #9 Concordia (Calif.) Eagles, senior right-handed starter Keegan Yuhl took the mound on Friday afternoon, January 31, and pitched the first no-hitter in Concordia baseball history, a history dating back to 1983.
It took him 115 pitches and he only walked three, striking out 12 of the 30 batters he faced. With the exception of a couple hard hit balls to shortstop and second base, which were swallowed up smoothly by Ryan Goodman and Justin Hodges, and a diving catch by Mitchell Esser in center field in the third inning, Yuhl dominated the Pioneer batters. He struck out the final two batters to claim the no-no.
"My arm felt great, I had a bad outing last week, but I had a good bullpen session and wanted to bounce back," Keegan Yuhl said. "Having a big lead like that, it lets you pound the zone and let things take care of themselves. I didn't realize I had it until the sixth inning, but after that I just tried to stay focused."
Ryan Goodman handled three outs at short, Atlee Scwab took two at third, and Justin Hodges gunned three at second. There were four fly balls taken by the outfielders.
On the offensive side, Concordia put up eight runs through the first two innings, backing Yuhl with a solid lead. Esser led the charge, knocking three hits with a triple and two RBI. Ryan Goodman was two-for-four with one RBI from the leadoff spot andJonathan Rodriguez drove two home. Anthony Grahamcame off the bench to knock a double.
Goodman and Spencer Nielsen walked in the first, they both moved on balk, and Robert Shiroky walked to load them up. Rodriguez singled to right to score two. Both runners were moved a base on a sacrifice and a bunt from Esser scored another. Dillon Bryant and Hodges each singled another run home. Goodman singled to right in his second at-bat of the inning to make it 6-0 Eagles. Nolan Clark singled with two out in the second and Esser tripled him home. Esser made it 8-0 when he scored on a passed ball. The Eagles tacked on one more in the sixth as Rodriguez walked and went to second on a wild pitch. He scored on an error. The Eagles stranded two men on base in the inning. The Eagles left runners on in every other inning, stranding 13 total.
"Everything I called today, Keegan Yuhl nailed for a strike," Concordia head coach Mike Grahovac said. "It's special for the whole program, past, present, it's a special day."
As a team Concordia knocked 12 hits, making no errors. The Eagles improved to 5-1, while UAV dropped to 3-4. The teams play a doubleheader tomorrow in Lancaster, CA starting at 11 am.