Friday, June 1, 2012

The Alex Miklos Diaries, Part 1

Friday night was a rare evening in baseball. I'd be willing to bet my Kevin Maas rookie card that these three events had never happened on the same night:

1. No-hitter by a Major League pitcher
2. No-hitter by a college pitcher in an NCAA Tournament game
3. Two college teams play 21 innings in an NCAA Tournament game

But baseball fans received that rare trio when Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history, Florida's Jonathan Crawford no-hit Bethune-Cookman in the Gainesville (FL) regional and Kent State defeated Kentucky, 7-6 in 21 innings at the Gary (IN) regional.

Santana makes history

No Met had ever thrown a no-hitter before Friday: not Pete Schourek or George Stone, not even Jae Weong Seo. Meanwhile, Johan Santana, the 2004 and 2006 Cy Young winner, didn't pitch at all in 2011 and was making a strong case for comeback player of the year (where he could finally be mentioned in the same sentence as Aaron Hill). Friday's game against the Cardinals helped: Santana threw a ton of pitches (134) and was fortunate enough to face Tyler Greene three times, but made New York Mets history.

That's the 17th-best kind of history a man can make.

Crawford stymies the Cook

No, a person nicknamed "The Cook" by his stoned friends wasn't preparing a late-night pasta dish and someone named Crawford swung in, Tarzan-style, and made off with all of the gnocchi.

"Dude, where's all the food?"

"Uh, I think that Crawford guy stole all of it."
 
"...........................Is, like, Waffle House walking distance?"

Instead, it was the top-ranked Gators' sophomore right-hander, who made the Bethune-Cookman Nine look foolish on day one of the NCAA Tournament. Crawford allowed just a third-inning walk in facing the minimum in a 98-pitch gem. It's the seventh no-hitter in Division 1 postseason history and the first Florida no-no since John Burke beat Furman, also in the NCAA's, May 23, 1991.

You know what else happened that day? The Braves' Danny Heep had a pinch-hit single against San Diego's Adam Peterson.

Kent State in 21

A crazy opener for this regional as Kentucky tied the game at 5-5 on Luke Maile's single in the bottom of the ninth, and after eight scoreless innings, each team scored a run in the 18th. Kent State finally took the lead for good when freshman Alex Miklos ripped a go-ahead triple in the top of the 21st, tying the modern, single-game record for go-ahead triples by a Miklos. It was the second-longest game in Division 1 postseason history (Texas beat Boston College, 3-2 in 25 innings in a 2009 game played in Austin.)

Here are a couple of hilarious/sad numbers depending on if you're related to any of these players or not:

* Kentucky infielder J.T. Riddle went 0-for-9
* Kent State hitters struck out a combined 26 times, led by Nick Hamilton and Derek Toadvine, who fanned four times each

What a night, and I'm predicting a repeat for Saturday:

1. Seattle's Hector Noesi no-hits the Whitesox
2. Creighton's Erik Mattingly no-hits San Diego
3. Austin Peay beats Indiana State in 21 innings in the Eugene (OR) regional

I'd bet my Kevin Maas second-year card on it.

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