One night, two no-hitters highlights historic March

Heading into the I-75 League’s 39th season, the record book showed 17 no-hitters. That means many years passed without a single no-hitter being thrown.

We won’t have to worry about that in 2018, as we’ve already had two no-hitters that not only occurred in the same month, but were rolled on the same night.

On March 28, Margaritaville Manager John McMillan announced that three pitchers had combined to hurl the first no-no in Volcano history, and moments later, Satellite Beach Manager Steve Nieroda shared the news that Alex Cobb had done the same for the Brawlers. Needless to say, two no-hitters on one night had never before occurred in league history.

Margaritaville’s no-hitter, a 12-0 blowout of Boulder, ended in dramatic fashion, as the Tree Huggers’ Eric Thames rolled a SI * 1-15 with two outs in the ninth, only to pluck a 16 to end the game.

That came off Joakim Soria, who entered in the eighth and stuck around for the ninth when both managers realized for the first time that history was pending. Boulder had loaded the bases with walks in the first inning off Margaritaville starter Dinelson Lamet but failed to score. Jed Lowrie reached via a hit-by-pitch in the fourth. Randall Delgado relieved Lamet and pitched two hitless innings while Margaritaville’s offense continued to feast on Boulder pitchers Johnny Cueto and Jeff Hoffman. Along the way, Boulder was missing a trio of 1-15 ballpark homer chances.

But when it was all said and done, the Volcanoes had their combined no-hitter, fanning nine and walking three.

Cobb’s no-hitter for Satellite Beach was nearly even more historic, as a sixth-inning walk by Tatooine’s Jason Kipnis was the only blemish on what was nearly a perfect game. Cobb struck out 10 while going the distance in the 3-0 win. Like Boulder, Tatooine also missed three ballpark homer chances in the game.

The no-hit victories helped both Margaritaville and Satellite Beach to 13-win months, a month notable for the fact that 10 of the league’s 15 teams got off to double-digit win totals, including every team in the Northbound Division and four of the five teams in the Westbound Division. Leading the way was Bushwood with 14 wins, a feat accomplished despite playing three of its four series on the road. Tatooine managed a 10-win month despite going 0-5 in the Satellite Beach series that included the no-hitter, winning its other series 3-2, 4-1 and 3-2.

 

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