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Miami Athletics | March 5, 2014

Hurricanes' Salas tosses perfect game

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Javi Salas made history at Mark Light Field on Tuesday night, pitching just the 23rd perfect game in Division I baseball history since 1957 in No. 16 Miami's 17-0 shutout of visiting Villanova.

The senior righthander and team captain retired all 27 Wildcats batters he faced, needing just 113 pitches to get through perfection.

Salas became just the second Miami Hurricane to throw a perfect game and the first since Kevin Sheary on March 14, 1987. He struck out Villanova pinch hitter Derrick May Jr. for the final out of the game, sending his teammates into a frenzied celebration in front of the mound.

"I don't even know what to think," Salas said after the game. "In that last inning, I was trying to keep my adrenaline down. The fans were getting up, and I couldn't believe it. It's a dream come true."

Salas said it took some superstitious silent treatment from his teammates in the dugout after the sixth inning to realize the potential magnitude of his performance.

"I got back in the dugout and I was kind of isolated and no one was talking to me," he said. "That's when I realized what I had going. I had a couple of 3-1 counts there that I was hoping I didn't walk a guy. I had to keep my approach and stay aggressive going after these guys. Luck had it for me today."

Salas credited his team's performance in all three phases of the game as the recipe for success against the Wildcats (2-8).

"That's the only reason I showed up today -- to get our team back on track," Salas said. "I didn't care how it happened or what the score was, we really needed to win. I think it all came together tonight. We played great defense, we hit the ball, and we got a little luck with pitching."

Head coach Jim Morris was especially proud of his rising star, who turned down the chance at professional baseball after being drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 2013 MLB Draft.

Salas was elected team captain for the second consecutive year prior to 2014 -- his final season as a Hurricane.

"He's our captain, one of our hardest workers and a leader by example," Morris said. "He's a pre-law student. He's everything. He is a perfect student-athlete."

The Hurricanes (6-5) scored four runs during the game's first three innings in support of Salas, taking a 4-0 lead on a two-out, two-RBI single from freshman outfielder Willie Abreu in the bottom of the third.

Salas was in no need of the offensive fireworks that followed on Tuesday. He was in complete control throughout the game. He threw his 100th pitch of the night in the eighth inning, and struck out May Jr., swinging to end the ninth. Salas, a right-hander from Coral Gables, Fla., struck out six batters on the night, none more exciting than the final three-pitch rendition that sent the crowd of 2,435 into standing ovation.

He celebrated with his family after the game, and joined his younger brother Jorge, a student radio broadcaster for WVUM 90.5, in the radio booth for a postgame interview.

"I hope this gets us going," Salas said. "We start ACC play this weekend, so we really have to get on a roll here."

Related:
• Canes' Salas perfect as kid brother calls from broadcast booth

Division I perfect games:

DATE PITCHER TEAM OPPONENT
March 17, 2019 Jake Kuchmaner East Carolina Maryland
Feb. 24, 2018 Joe DeMers Washington UC Riverside
March 25, 2017 Cory Abbott Loyola Marymount BYU
April 15, 2016 Shane McCarthy Seton Hall LIU Brooklyn
March 11, 2016 Jesse Scholtens Wright State Dayton
March 21, 2015 Drew Rasmussen Oregon State Washington State
March 4, 2014 Javi Salas Miami (Fla.) Villanova
March 29, 2011 Will Roberts Virginia George Washington
April 9, 2003 Greg Prenger* Ohio State Oakland
March 2, 2002 Eric Brandon Auburn Murray State
April 29, 2000 Chad Blackwell* Iowa Northwestern
April 26, 1997 John Stewart* Western Mich. Akron
April 13, 1996 Chris McConnell* St. Francis (NY) Marist
April 30, 1991 Jason Johnson* Auburn LaGrange
May 3, 1987 Mark Bowlan Memphis Louisville
March 14, 1987 Kevin Sheary Miami (Fla.) Southern Illinois
May 3, 1980 Cliff Faust* Nebraska Kansas
April 19, 1980 Joe Housey* New Orleans Southeastern La.
March 10, 1973 Joe McIntosh* Washington St. Whitworth
March 20, 1972 Jim Jacobsen† Oklahoma St. Houston
April 17, 1971 Bill Balfoort* Buffalo Rochester (NY)
March 26, 1971 Larry Angell* Washington St. Eastern Wash.
March 22, 1968 Rick Austin* Washington St. Gonzaga
May 5, 1967 Bruce Baudier* LSU Alabama
1967 Larry Gonsalves Fresno St. Cal Poly
April 20, 1965 Bob Schauenberg Iowa Central (Iowa)
April 20, 1965 George Dugan Murray St. Austin Peay
May 3, 1963 Don Woeltjen Georgia Georgia Tech
April 10, 1959 Dick Reitz Maryland Johns Hopkins

* = 7-inning game
† = 5-inning game

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