Baseball throws first no-hitter since 2001

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Andrew Pawling

Carson King, Chase Pilato and Leo Rodriguez combined threw the first no-hitter for Florida Southern baseball since J.C. Barnett in 2001.

With the 3-0 victory, the Mocs improve to a 3-1 win-loss ratio this season while the Eckerd Tritons fell to 1-3 on the season.

“We just wanted to attack the hitters based on our pitcher’s strength; you can’t always go off of what the scouting report says,” Pitching Coach Nate Striz said. “You have to go off what your pitcher’s strengths are.”

King, a freshman, made his first career start. He began the game by walking the first two-batter he faced in a 24-pitch first inning. After the first inning ended, King had made his first career strikeout. He would go on to strike out the side in the second inning.

With a final line of 4 shutout innings featuring 4 walks and 6 strikeouts, King passed the baton to junior transfer Pilato to start the fifth inning.

Pilato struck out two Tritons in four perfect innings of relief in making his second appearance as a Moc. He needed just 37 pitches over those four innings to shut down the Tritons.

Rodriguez then came in and pitched a perfect ninth inning. He recorded his third save in as many games and finished off the no-hitter while only throwing 13 pitches.

From an offensive standpoint, the Mocs scored three runs on 10 hits. Jacob Teter had a two-RBI game with a sacrifice fly in the first and single in the 8th.

Isaiah Cullum added the only other run for the Mocs with a sacrifice fly in the 7th inning. Cullum was the designated hitter for the Mocs and transferred to FSC for his senior season.

Defensively, Zach Diewert saved the no-no for the Mocs with a diving catch for the second out in the top of the 8th. Pinch hitter Nick Arrivo looped the first pitch he saw to the shallow right field and Diewert made a diving catch to corral in the ball right before it hit the ground.

The Mocs’ coaches were pleased with how the team performed but recognize that the season is still young.

“We have to have an expectation that we are going to win but we have to go out there just as hard as last year,” Head Coach Lance Niekro said. “We have a target on our back from winning the South Region last year.”

The Mocs will take a 10-day break before heading up to South Carolina for a three-game series at USC Aiken from Feb. 15-17.

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