|OCVarsity Top 10: No-hitter, walk-offs, and 15 K performance|
Highlights include Beckman's James Kaprielian throwing another no-hitter, a walk-off grand slam, a 15 strkeout performance, the Battle of the Bay, and more! Video by Jonathan Khamis, OCVarsity.com
Most Viewed Stories
Beckman's Kaprielian settles for another no-hitter
IRVINE - Beckman’s James Kaprielian said he knew early in Tuesday’s key Pacific Coast League against University how good his stuff was.
His coach, Kevin Lavalle, said he noticed the “look” from Kaprielian as the team was boarding the bus.
In the end, Kaprielian responded with a no-hitter - his second of the season - to lead Beckman (17-3, 9-3) to a 6-0 victory over University (16-6, 8-4), which had its nine-game winning streak snapped.
“As soon as I got the strikeout in the first inning, I was ready to go,” he said. “I kind of felt it. As the innings started getting deeper and deeper, I was like ‘Three more outs. I think we can do this.' ”
Kaprielian (8-1) had a perfect game going as he entered the seventh inning. University lead-off hitter Mako Allbee tapped a ground ball to third that hit off the third baseman’s glove, allowing Allbee to reach. The first ruling on the scoreboard was hit. Moments later, it was switched to error.
“That’s happened to me about three, maybe four times within the past two years,” Kaprielian said of the close call with a perfect game. “It (losing a perfect game or no-hitter) gets blown in the seventh inning, but we got the win and that’s the most important thing, and I’m lucky enough to take a no-hitter away with it.”
After Allbee reached, Kaprielian did what had done all game, retired the Trojans in order to end the game.
“I felt good (warming up),” he said. “I felt like I had command of every pitch, especially my cutter. I threw it on a couple of their main hitters. It felt pretty good.
“Every single time I’ve come close (to a perfect game), it has been the seventh inning, where it gets blown. Sometimes with two outs, sometimes with no outs … I’ll get one, one of these days, hopefully.”
Kaprielian had just three three-ball counts. He finished with nine strikeouts.
In his last three starts, Kaprielian has pitched two no-hitters and one-hitter. In his last five starts, he has allowed six hits and one run in 35 innings.
“What I tell people who come and watch him for the first time, you come to a game and you see the velocity, the command of three pitches and you see the ball when it leaves his hand and you leave thinking that guy is a pretty good pitcher,” Lavalle said. “What you don’t see is what he was doing yesterday at 3 p.m. preparing for today and what you don’t see is what he’s going to be doing tomorrow, when he’s out running and lifting weights.
“Not only is he the best pitcher I’ve ever coached, he’s probably the best athlete I’ve coached. He does everything right from the time he steps on the field.”
The Beckman offense staked Kaprielian to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. Zack Rivera, Tyler Cook and Connor Deneen all had RBI singles.
In the third inning, Deneen had a two-run single, giving Kaprielian a 5-0 lead.
The teams will meet again Friday at Beckman.