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No-hitter goes down to wire

Baseball: Hoover drops a close one to Pasadena, 3-1, despite not logging a hit in Pacific League action.

March 30, 2012|By Andrew Shortall

PASADENA — Coaches don't often choose to pull their starter in the middle of a no-hitter, but Friday was far from the average no-hitter.

Pasadena High baseball Coach Mike Parisi took a trip out to the mound in the top of the seventh inning in a Pacific League game against Hoover with the intention of pulling his starter, Andrew Phillips, who'd just walked the tying run on base with one out.

"I don't think I've ever wanted to take someone out in a no-hitter," Parisi said. "I wanted to go pull him out and he said he wanted to finish the game."

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Parisi stuck with his starter and he didn't regret the decision, as Phillips ended the game with a grounder and a strikeout to preserve the no-hitter and a 3-1 Pasadena league win over the visiting Tornadoes.

Phillips was dominant — with nine strikeouts — and wild in stretches — with six walks, including four straight in the top of the fourth to give the Tornadoes (3-8-1, 1-2 in league) their only run.

"It was nice [getting a no-hitter] for the first time ever, I don't care what team it is," Phillips said. "I struggled a couple times but I just had to keep coming back."

The Bulldogs senior was able to bounce back in the fourth, as he ended the one-out, bases-loaded threat — with Pasadena (4-5, 1-2) clinging to a 2-1 lead — by striking out the next two batters looking with back-door curveballs.

"The game came down to us not being able to produce at the dish," said Hoover Coach Joe Cotti, whose team was held without a hit for the second game this season. "We have to be able to put the ball in play a little better."

It spoiled a fine outing from Tornadoes pitcher Orlando Marin, who scattered five hits, four walks and gave up two earned runs in the complete game.

"Orlando pitched awesome and nine times out of 10 you pitch that well you come home with a 'W,'" said Cotti of Marin, who nearly threw 130 pitches in the loss. "I was ready to take him out, but he said he felt great and he kept going, hitting his spots and battled all the way through.

"He did an awesome job, I have to take my hat off to him, it was fantastic. "

Pasadena took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning as Brian Blackburn hit a solo home run in his first varsity at-bat after getting called up, but not playing, from the junior-varsity squad Wednesday.

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