FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The image of the pitcher who has thrown a no-hitter is usually of the hurler standing on the mound being mobbed by teammates. On Saturday, Taylor Hillmann watched his first career no-hitter end from a seat in the dugout. Hillmann fired the third no-hitter in Edgewood College history, but still took the loss in a 1-0 defeat to Bethel University in the second game of the Eagles' doubleheader. Bethel also won the first game 13-3.
Hillmann was masterful for Edgewood College (3-8) in the final game of their spring trip. He retired the first 12 consecutive Bethel hitters on six fly balls, two ground outs and four strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Eagle hitters had opportunities to score but didn't come through. In the fourth inning Brad Clark reached an error and Alex Jaskulski singled to put runners on first and second with one out. However, Bethel University (4-2) starter Jake Hanzalik coaxed a double play ground ball to get out of the inning. In the top of the fifth inning, the Eagles' Will Schlosser reached second with one out, but again the Eagles didn't score.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Bethel manufactured the only run they would need. Hillmann made his only mistake of the day, hitting Bethel's Luke Schultz with the first pitch of the inning. On the next pitch, Schultz broke for second and the throw sailed into center field allowing Schultz to advance to third base. The next better Matt Conrad flied out deep right field for a sacrifice fly and the game's only run. Hillmann escaped the inning and set down the Royals in the sixth to earn his piece of Edgewood College history.
Hillmann joins Cody Flynn and Sean Petty as the only two Eagle pitchers to ever throw no-hitters. Flynn fired a seven-inning perfect game at Maranatha Baptist on May 6, 2006. Petty threw the first no-hitter in Edgewood College history with a 13-0 seven-inning victory over MSOE on April 14, 2002.
In the opener, Bethel University blew up a close game early with eight runs over the final two innings. Edgewood College's Nick Lehner gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead in the second inning with a clutch one-out single that scored Clark and Ryan O'Dell. Lehner also drove in the Eagles third run with an RBI single in the seventh inning. Like Lehner, O'Dell went 2-for-3 on the game. Starting pitcher Trevor Koehn threw five innings for the Eagles and took the loss.