Scaring ’em hitless

Johan Santana has one. Lucas Giolito ’12 has one and Tim Lincecum has none. Sandy Koufax had four and Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander both have two. And now Jack Flaherty ’14 and Chloe Pendergast ’13 each have one.

Flaherty and Pendergast joined the elite club of pitchers who have tossed no-hitters within days of each other, as Pendergast pitched a complete game no-hitter in the Feb. 26 softball game against Immaculate Heart and Flaherty followed suit for the baseball team against Valencia on March 2.

In spite of the close timing of the two no-hitters, the two pitchers had markedly different experiences. In spite of allowing no hits, Pendergast’s no-no featured an unearned run by Immaculate Heart off of errors in the Wolverines’ season-opening 9-1 win.

The baserunners made it so that Pendergast went the entire game and some time after without realizing her accomplishment, finding out only when she went to watch the girls’ soccer CIF game against Chaminade.

“There were errors, so there were people on base, so it didn’t really feel like it,” Pendergast said. “Afterwards, when I went to the soccer game, people told me, ‘Chloe, congrats you threw a no-hitter’ and I was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t even know, thank you.’”

The game marked not only the start of the season but also Pendergast’s return to the mound after almost a year away from pitching to focus on shortstop, where she’s set to play for Cornell next year.
Pendergast’s oblivion to her no-hitter-in-progress may have helped to keep her calm, she said.

“There have been times that I’ve gotten to the fifth inning and realized that there hadn’t been anyone on base and thought I only had two more innings to go,” Pendergast said. “I’ve definitely been conscious before but I wasn’t this time and I probably would have been more nervous if I had.”

Flaherty, on the other hand, realized the possibility for a no-hitter mid-game.

“I didn’t know that I was throwing a no-hitter until the sixth inning, because Hans [Hansen ’13] started mentioning it. That was the point where I started realizing it,” Flaherty said.

While Flaherty and his team shut out Valencia 1-0, Flaherty lost the opportunity for a perfect game early on, giving up his sole walk to the first batter.

Flaherty and a few of his teammates went from the morning funeral for Justin Carr ’14 straight to the game, which affected his pitching early on, he said.

“The first inning was rough and I didn’t pitch well,” Flaherty said.

But he quickly turned it around, striking out seven batters and saving his own no-hitter by fielding a push bunt in the final inning. The win over Valencia advanced the Wolverines into the finals of the Easton Tournament and they went on to beat Chaminade.

“It was never even a goal of mine at all to throw a no-hitter. My goal is just to go out there and win it for my team and it just ended up that I threw a no-hitter,” Flaherty said. “Right when it happened, I was ecstatic, but now it’s just moving onto the next part.”

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