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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — After coming a strike away from a no-hitter 11 days, East Carolina sophomore pitcher Jake Kuchmaner went the distance Sunday and made school history.
The left-hander from Waxhaw delivered the first perfect game by a Pirate as No. 14 ECU finished off the series sweep with a 3-0 victory over Maryland (10-8). Kuchmaner (2-0) struck out eight batters, including at least one in seven innings. He went to a full count on four batters. The feat comes in his first start losing a no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth inning of a game at No. 9 Ole Miss on March 6. Sunday’s gem was the 11th no-hit game for an ECU pitcher and the first since 2005. It’s the first NCAA Division I perfect game since Washington’s Joe DeMers did it Feb. 24, 2018.
Kuchmaner was locked in a pitchers’ duel with Terrapins starter Trevor LaBonte (1-1) until Pirates first baseman Spencer Brickhouse, a Wilson American Legion Post 13 alumnus, led off with a double. After Turner Brown’s one-out single, designated hitter Thomas Francisco lined a double to right field to score Brickhouse and Brown. Catcher Seth Caddell’s one-out solo home run in the top of the ninth completed the scoring.
East Carolina, now 15-6, hosts in-state rival UNC Wilmington on Wednesday at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville before opening American Athletic Conference play with a three-game series against UCF, starting Friday in Greenville.