GREENVILLE, Pa. –- Thiel pitcher Nick Rossmiller tossed the first perfect game in Tomcat history as Thiel defeated Hiram 14-0 Friday evening at Tomcat Park.
The Butler, Pa. native shut down the Terriers (5-6) by tossing nine innings and striking out six over an efficient 106 pitches — 82 of which were for strikes. Rossmiller’s effectiveness on the bump created a two hour, six minute game that marks the shortest of the season for the Tomcats (5-4).
Rossmiller’s perfect game marks the first in recorded Tomcat history, and only the 16th in Division III baseball history. It is the fifth time in Thiel history that a pitcher has thrown a no-hitter, and the first since 2005, when Keith Jackson set the Oberlin batters down in order.
“Nick pitched tremendously tonight,” head coach Joe Schaly said. “He has really been locked in and utilizing his pitches very well. Once again, it’s always easier to focus out there when you are playing behind a good-hitting lineup, and they were able to spot him seven runs in the early going. From there, he really took control and threw some great pitches.”
Rossmiller has flirted with no-hitters before as a Tomcat, most notably in his first start of 2013 when he made it into the fifth inning of a seven-inning game against Finlandia with the no-hitter still in tact before a single to lead off the fifth dashed his hopes. Rossmiller is now 3-0 this season with a microscopic 0.78 ERA, and he has struck out 23 batters in 23 innings pitched.
“I realized I had a no-hitter going somewhere around the sixth inning,” said a humbled Rossmiller moments after being mobbed by his teammates. “It’s the first one I’ve ever thrown at any level.”
Providing run support for Rossmiller were senior designated hitter Jarod Nanna and sophomore third baseman Trent Mosely. Nanna went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, a run scored and five RBIs while Mosely went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, the second this season by a Tomcat.
Thiel recorded four runs in the bottom of the first. Eric Steininger began the scoring with an RBI double to right center to make it 1-0. Nanna then stepped up and delivered a line-drive shot to center field that scored Steininger. Cody Trinch added a two-run single up the right side to make it 4-0. It was the first time all season that the Tomcats sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning.
In all, the Tomcat bats banged out 19 hits, a season-best total.