Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Sports

Tampa pitcher lobs slow-pitch softball perfect game

David Gandy is only 27 years old, but he should officially retire from slow-pitch softball. It's unlikely he will duplicate what he did Thursday night.

Gandy pitched a perfect game for his city of Tampa "B" league rec team, the Sea Turtles, at Eddie Lopez Field in Seminole Heights. No hits, no walks, no errors in a 20-0, five-inning game that was shortened by the 10-run mercy rule.

That's 15 batters up, 15 down. Nobody on the Hub Rat Pack reached first base.

"You never expect that to happen," Gandy said. "It was all good defense. They hit the ball right at our guys, and everyone was making plays."

What usually happens in slow-pitch softball, where high-arching pitches await batters, is plenty of hits and runs. Shutouts are rare. No-hitters even more rare. And perfect games are once-in-a-lifetime.

And this is not one of those "D" leagues with guys who have never played before. Gandy is a former pitcher at Plant High and several of his Panthers teammates are on his softball team.

"It's a very competitive league," said Gandy, who quit his job as a civil engineer more than four years ago to become a professional poker player. "We've even lost to this team before. They are definitely a legitimate team."

Outfielder Jamie Conner, 27, is a former Plant classmate of Gandy's and has been playing softball with him on this team for three years. As each out was recorded, he couldn't believe what was going on.

"Never seen anything like that," Conner said. "We're not out there to strike people out. It's a recreational league. The whole point is to put the ball in play and run the bases and score. It's a scoring league. When you shut somebody out, that's rare. To not have anyone get on base, that's unreal. That just doesn't happen."

Joe Bendekovits has been umpiring baseball and softball games since 1956. He has been umpiring Tampa rec league softball games for 25 years. He was behind the plate Thursday night. A perfect game in slow-pitch softball was a first for him.

"I've never seen it," Bende­kovits said. "Nobody has ever seen it. They were hitting balls right at guys. And lots of popups."

In baseball, protocol is not to go near the pitcher if he has a no-hitter going. That protocol was out the window by the second inning Thursday night.

"If it's a real baseball game, it's a known thing that you don't talk to the pitcher," Conner said. "But in the second inning, we were already saying, 'Dave, you got a no-hitter going.' Then somebody said, 'Dude, you got a perfect game going.' We thought we might have jinxed it. But it wasn't until the game was over that we looked at each other and said, 'Holy cow, he actually threw a perfect game.' "

Gandy, a left-hander who said he threw a no-hitter as a sophomore at Plant, said he laughed every time a teammate brought up the no-hitter. He considered it crazy talk. But when the last out was recorded, he shook his head in disbelief.

"We celebrated a little bit, and the other team actually celebrated, too," Gandy said. "We couldn't believe it."

Comments
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 23

Monday’s scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 10, Citrus Park Christian 0Northeast 12, Countryside 5
Updated: 4 hours ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballTwins at Yankees6:30 p.m.MLB; 1040-AMRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Dodgers10 p.m.FSFCollege baseballCoastal Carolina at North Carolina6 p.m.ESPNUMississippi at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECCreighton at Nebraska7:30 p.m.Big ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 5 hours ago
The key to the Lightning’s success

The key to the Lightning’s success

This is quite the run the Lightning is on over the past five years.A playoff appearance in 2014. A trip to the Stanley Cup final in 2015. A return to the Eastern Conference final in 2016. A near-miss of the postseason last season. And now back in the...
Updated: 7 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Brooke Blankenship and Luca Tresh

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Brooke Blankenship and Luca Tresh

Brooke Blankenship, Academy at the LakesAcademy at the Lakes knew it would be difficult to manufacture runs during last week's anticipated matchup with Land O'Lakes and Gators ace Callie Turner.So the Wildcats decided to steal a run.This wasn't any h...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Shaquem Griffin on TODAY show: ‘I’m not limited to nothing’

Shaquem Griffin on TODAY show: ‘I’m not limited to nothing’

Shaquem Griffin's ability to play football without a left hand has made him the talk of the NFL draft. But the former Lakewood High and UCF star is determined to silence such talk with his play."It gets tiring," Griffin said today...
Updated: 10 hours ago
HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay

HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay

1. Sunlake (22-1)Up next: Wednesday vs. Clearwater-Northeast winner (7A-10 semifinals)The buzz: The Seahawks beat Anclote, Gulf and Zephyrhills last week to extend their win streak to 16, currently the longest in the area. Sunlake has been dominant, ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Late-round NFL draft picks are often made on a wing and a prayer.The Bucs' fourth-round pick Saturday will be no different. The team announced Monday that as part of the NFL draft TV broadcast, the team's fourth-round pick will be delivered to an ann...
Published: 04/23/18
Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

For all the analyses and hypotheses, all the Mels and McShays, all the pro days and private workouts, the NFL draft remains a crap shoot at its core.But just for kicks, we're rolling the dice anyway.As a prelude to what could — could — be...
Published: 04/23/18