East Carolina baseball’s Jake Kuchmaner made program history on Sunday. The sophomore lefty threw the Pirates' first perfect game, shutting down 27 straight Maryland hitters in the 3-0 victory.
HISTORY FOR JAKE KUCHMANER!— ECU Baseball (@ECUBaseball) March 17, 2019
He tosses the first perfect game in school history! pic.twitter.com/0FZalU1FGR
Kuchmaner throwing the perfect game may not be all that surprising. The southpaw started his run of dominance two starts back, coming within one strike of East Carolina’s first no-hitter in 14 years. That day, he shut down the Ole Miss bats for 8.2 innings, until he walked his second-to-last batter on a full count, allowing the Rebels' Thomas Dillard to break up the bid with a single to right.
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This past Tuesday, Kuchmaner one-hit Duke over 5.2 innings. He was a little wild, for him at least, walking three batters. That’s uncharacteristic for Kuchmaner who has just two walks over his other four appearances this season.
Kuchmaner baffled Maryland right off the bat, needing less than 10 pitches to get a couple of ground outs and a pop out in the first inning. He fell behind a few hitters on the day but faced only four full counts in his nine innings of work, needing 103 pitches to get through the Maryland lineup three times without a base runner.
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First baseman Alec Burleson had the big play in the ninth, saving Kuchmaner’s quest for perfection on a day where the fielders made everything look easy. Kuchmaner struck out eight batters in the game, five of which were swinging, including Kody Milton for the final out.
The win gives the Pirates a much-needed sweep as they head into conference play this coming weekend against UCF.