ECU's Jake Kuchmaner throws perfect game against Maryland
The Daily Reflector
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Jake Kuchmaner was one strike away from the 11th no-hitter in East Carolina baseball history on March 6 when he stifled Southeastern Conference powerhouse Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss.
He didn’t complete the no-hitter.
On Sunday, he fired the first perfect game in Pirate history.
The left-handed sophomore continued his unprecedented rise for ECU baseball by retiring all 27 Maryland Terrapin batters at Maryland to seal a 3-0 victory for the No. 14 Pirates (15-6) and a weekend sweep of the Terps (10-8).
Kuchmaner finished with eight strikeouts. He was rushed and mobbed by teammates in celebration after the final out, which was his eighth strikeout.
“In the sixth inning, (pitching) coach Dan Roszel came up to me and asked how I feel and I told him I felt good,” Kuchmaner said in a postgame interview on the Pirate IMG Network. “From then on, I just had to settle in and keep reminding myself to keep going.”
Stellar defensive work included a clutch diving play at first base by Alec Burleson for the second out in the bottom of the ninth inning.
“The biggest thing was just to go one hitter at a time,” Kuchmaner said on the radio. “I just had to let my defense play, and they were phenomenal today. ... Everyone did a great job.”
The sweep gave the Pirates a 7-1 record in their last eight games.
On offense, Thomas Francisco plated two runs on a double in the top of the sixth inning for the big hit. Seth Caddell’s solo home run in the ninth made it 3-0.
Turner Brown and Spencer Brickhouse each finished 2-for-4.
Kuchmaner threw 75 pitches in relief at Duke on Tuesday. His pitch count finished at 103 on Sunday in historic fashion.
ECU outscored UM by a total of 14-1 during the weekend.