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Northwood's Kim's 'amazed' by playoffs no-hitter
IRVINE - Northwood pitcher Brandon Kim picked quite a time for his first career no-hitter.
Kim pulled off the feat Tuesday afternoon, leading the Timberwolves to a 10-0 victory over Los Altos of Hacienda Heights in a CIF-SS Division 3 wild-card playoff game at Northwood.
The senior struck out nine and pitched to just one batter over the minimum. He hit two batters, but one of them was picked off in the third inning and his teammates supported him with a flawless effort defensively.
Northwood (15-12) moves on to play at Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach on Thursday.
Kim (7-4) said he realized he was throwing a no-hitter in the seventh inning though none of his teammates brought up the subject.
“I’m amazed,” Kim said. “My coach called a heck of a game, our catcher (Nick Mis) spotted the pitches and Nino’s catch really saved the game.”
Nino Kim made a diving catch of a hard-hit ball to center field for the third out in the sixth inning. Third baseman Dillon Brine also made an excellent play of a slow tapper for the first out of the sixth.
“I felt good,” Brandon Kim said. “Command of the fastball was good and command of the slider was excellent. There were just a few missed pitches and hit batters, but after that, I got back to it and got the no-hitter.”
Northwood coach Rob Stuart said he has come to expect this kind of effort from Kim, who kept Los Altos (12-14-1) off balance most of the game.
“One pitch at a time, he handled that very well and he hit his spots, forced contact and didn’t fall behind,” Stuart said. “We really had a tough time making the playoffs because the league was so difficult but for him and (Kevin) Okuda to get a chance to win a playoff game and for Brandon to get a chance to pitch and pitch a no-hitter is a very special memory and something we will always remember.”
Northwood settled the issue with four runs in the second inning, three coming on a bases-loaded double by Andrew Kim. The Timberwolves added two runs in the third inning.
Taylor Cleary had an RBI triple and Nino Kim an RBI single. In the fourth inning, Northwood cashed in in two walks, an error and a hit batter to score three more runs. Okuda drove in two of the runs with a single.
Then, the attention turned to Kim’s bid for a no-hitter.
“We had two big plays I thought, Nino’s (catch) and the play at third,” said Stuart. “The play at third (by Brine) was a tough play. If he bobbles it, it’s a hit. It was a money throw, too.”
Okuda had two hits and two RBI for Northwood, which had seven hits. Andrew Kim drove in four runs and Nino Kim drove in two runs for the Timberwolves.
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