Brian Holmes Fires No-Hitter Against Marshall
March 4, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Junior left-hander Brian Holmes accomplished a feat every pitcher dreams about, as he hurled a no-hitter in Wake Forest's 5-1 win over Marshall on Sunday afternoon at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
In his first-career no-hitter at any level of baseball, Holmes - now 3-0 on the year - also struck out a career-best 10 batters, surrendered just one walk and was around the strike zone all day with 83 of his 125 pitches in there for strikes. The no-hitter also doubles as his first-career complete game.
"It feels great. Obviously, I want a zero up in the sixth, but it's still a great accomplishment, and I feel like I went out there and did the best I could for my team," said Holmes.
The Lawrenceville, Ga., native started strong by retiring the first four batters he faced and 16 of the first 17. The only batter to reach base through the first 5.1 innings was Thor Meeks who was hit by a pitch.
After striking out the leadoff man in the sixth, Holmes then hit John Gandolfo, walked Isaac Ballou and hit Andrew Dundon to load the bases with one out. Nathan Gomez followed with a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Gandolfo to score, but the no-hitter remained intact after Carlos Lopez made an excellent play against the netting in foul territory to end the inning.
Holmes then retired the final nine batters of the game, including a fly ball to Mac Williamson in center for the last out, to complete the no-hitter and cement his spot in Wake Forest history. He needed just nine pitches in the seventh, 11 in the eighth and 13 in the ninth to finish the job.
The run in the sixth inning was the first run allowed all season by Holmes. He now has a 0.45 ERA, 22 strikeouts and just five walks in 20.0 innings of work.
"Just unbelievable. That's the best pitching performance I've ever seen," said Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter.
The Demon Deacons have now won eight straight games and stand at 9-4 on the year. The eight-game winning streak is the longest since Wake Forest won 11 in a row from February 21-March 10, 2006.
"We've pitched the ball very well through this winning streak. Certainly, our defense has been very solid through this streak, and we've gotten some timely hitting. We've had games where we haven't been very offensive, but we've gotten hits when we've needed to," said Walter.
The Deacs got on the board early when Charlie Morgan singled through the right side of the infield to bring home Conor Keniry. Wake Forest then got a pair of sacrifice flies in the fifth inning off the bats of Williamson and Lopez to give Holmes all the help he needed with a 3-0 advantage.
Wake Forest then responded to Marshall's run in the sixth with two more of its own in the bottom of the seventh. Williamson started a two-out rally with a single to right field and the bases were loaded after back-to-back walks to Lopez and Morgan. Mark Rhine followed with an RBI single up the middle, and Lopez added the fifth run of the game after advancing home on a wild pitch.
Williamson was the only Deacon with multiple hits in the game, as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Wake Forest will have one day to celebrate Holmes' no-hitter before hosting Valparaiso in a two-game, midweek series on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both games are scheduled for 4 p.m. at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
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