Behr: Two no-hitters are rare, no matter what format
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
The last one I can remember was actually at Turner Field in Atlanta when the Colorado Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez threw one at the Braves in 2010.
Watauga's Chris Nigro threw one at Freedom in 2004, which is the last one I remember being thrown by a Watauga pitcher.
Now I've seen two no-hitters in two days, although admittedly, neither game went the full seven innings.
Both were thrown by Watauga pitchers within a day of each other at the start of the Pioneers' summer varsity season. Hunter Isaacs' gem on Thursday, followed by Adam Greene's on Friday, did not go the seven innings that a varsity spring game does.
But they were worth the cost of admission.
And who's to say they would have surrendered a hit in the remaining innings had they been played? Both pitchers were sharp by throwing strikes and neither pitcher was being hit terribly hard.
Watauga's defense didn't have to make any plays that were more than routine.
Maybe they get broken up late in the game, and then maybe not. Both games were close. Both pitchers had to keep their concentration to keep Watauga in each game.
The format of the summer league Watauga plays in, which is as much about instruction and experimenting with putting the right players in the right position in time for the 2015 spring season as it is about winning games, has the teams play a doubleheader with each game lasting five innings.
Isaacs' no-hitter against Fred T. Foard on Thursday went six innings after Watauga and Foard were tied 0-0 after five. Isaacs did his part by shutting down Foard in the top half of the inning.
Matt Lambert's RBI single in the bottom half of the sixth made sure a seventh inning wasn't necessary, although I would have been in favor of extending the game one more inning had Lambert not come through with his game-winner.
Foard did not bring everybody that played on its spring team that finished second in the Northwestern Conference to Watauga's field on Thursday, but there were several familiar names.
One of them was Austin Godfrey, who shut out Watauga 5-0 in Newton back on March 14.
Godfrey battled Isaacs pitch-for-pitch, strike-for-strike and out-for-out Thursday, but gave up one run on five hits.
That's not bad, but Isaacs was nearly perfect. Foard's only base runner reached on a dropped third strike. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time since it happened in the second inning.
Greene's gem was more shocking. He hasn't pitched since 2013, and has spent most of his time with the 2014 Pioneers either as a third baseman or a designated hitter.
Greene's was a bit sneakier to me since I didn't keep a scorebook during the game. Instead, Watauga Democrat sports intern Gerrit Van Genderen wrote the game story.
Greene did the same thing Isaacs did -- throw strikes, but not right down the middle so Newton-Conover's batters could tee-off and blast line drives all over the field.
Some may say I'm overreacting. Fair enough. It is summer and not the spring season, when no-hitters are much tougher to pitch.
But even one in the summer months is rare enough.
Having two, even if they did not go the regulation seven innings, is remarkable enough.