Jake Kuchmaner made Pirate history on Sunday with the school’s first ever perfect game in East Carolina’s 3-0 win over Maryland.
Unfortunately, unless you were in College Park on Sunday, you didn’t get a chance to see the performance.
The Big 10 plus streaming service showed the first game of the three-game set on Friday night. There was no coverage on Saturday and Sunday.
For many, it meant listening to the game on radio, or as in my case on the Pirate station on the TuneIn Radio app. I had the app on at a local restaurant on Sunday, when my waitress asked me if she could find the game I was listening to on television. I just smiled and told her this was the only way to get the game and I asked if I needed to put my ear buds on.
For me it was like it was as a kid. Growing up I fell asleep listening to games on the AM dial. Long before the Internet, AM radio was the way to go.
Baseball is a sport you can follow on radio, and sometimes it’s just as good as watching.
So I spent most of Sunday afternoon visualizing every pitch from Corey Gloor’s call with Learfield IMG College. Corey does a great job for the Pirate program, but little did he know when the day started that he would be broadcasting history. He did an outstanding job, painting a picture with his words of a perfect outing for the Pirate lefthander.
Kuchmaner was absolutely brilliant for the second time in less than two weeks.
He pitched 8 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball before giving up a hit in ECU’s win over Ole Miss a week and a half ago. He pitched well in the Pirates’ loss to Duke, taking over for Gavin Williams after Williams struggled early in the game.
Kuchmaner was on a “loose” pitch count of 50 for his Sunday start at Maryland.
He dominated the Terrapins, retiring all 27 batters he faced. He struck out eight, forced 10 fly-ball outs and nine ground-outs on his way to perfection.
How rare is a perfect game in Division I college baseball?
Kuchmaner’s was only the 28th perfect game ever.
“I feel good,” Kuchmaner told the radio audience after the history-making performance. “My arm is starting to feel it now, but it’s good.”
Kuchmaner used the experience from the Ole Miss game to his advantage on Sunday.
“It was kind of like at Ole Miss with a pinch-hitter coming up,” Kuchmaner explained. “I didn’t make great pitches then and I think I learned from it. I just told myself to throw strikes and let them get themselves out.”
He even joked about the holiday, saying his Mom was Irish. Perhaps it was the luck of the Irish.
Kuchmaner’s perfect game was the first by an NCAA Division I pitcher since Washington’s Joe DeMers against North Dakota State back on February 24, 2018. It’s the 11th time in Pirate history that an opponent did not tally a base hit and is the first Pirate no-hitter since Ricky Brooks’ no-no against Memphis in 2005.
Kuchmaner has been the early season story for the Pirates on the mound. It appears that the lefthander has certainly earned his spot on the weekend rotation, which will only make this ECU baseball team that much better now, and down the road.