Florida pitcher Jonathon Crawford throws no-hitter in NCAA Regional
CHECK OUT VIDEO OF CRAWFORD'S POST-GAME INTERVIEW BELOW:
Nearly one year after he failed to be included on the roster in the Gators’ final postseason games, sophomore pitcher Jonathon Crawford threw his first career no-hitter, and sophomore second baseman Casey Turgeon added four RBI to lead the Gators to a 4-0 win over Bethune-Cookman in the NCAA Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium Friday night.
It was the first solo no-hitter for Florida since John Burke threw one against Furman in the 1991 NCAA East Regional, and only the seventh in NCAA Tournament history. Crawford (6-2) threw 98 pitches, five strikeouts, and walked just one. Out of 27 batters, he had 20 first-pitch strikes.
Florida becomes the only school to have two pitchers throw no-hitters in NCAA Tournament play.
It was a remarkable achievement for a player who pitched just 3.2 innings last season and was left out of the Gators’ lineup in the NCAA College World Series.
“Last year, how smart I am, we left him off the roster in Omaha,’’ Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “It was a very tough decision, but it was one that we felt like had to be made. He went off to the Northwoods League, he never complained, he got his 50 innings in and came back. He was much-improved this fall and very open-minded to some changes. And he has worked extremely hard. On top of that, we’ve asked him to have multiple roles this year – Friday night starter, Saturday night starter, Sunday starter, reliever – and now 12 months later he starts the first game of the regional and throws a no-hitter.’’
O’Sullivan called the Gators’ victory a “great team win’’, adding that junior pitcher Mike Zunino deserved much of the credit for calling the game – including every pitch in the final three innings. “I probably called 10 pitches all night,’’ he said.
Florida will play Georgia Tech today at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets defeated College of Charleston, 8-4, in Friday’s first regional game.
Hear from Crawford and other Gators in their post-game comments here: