GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida pitcher Jonathan Crawford earned himself a chunk of history Friday night, throwing a no-hitter against Bethune-Cookman in the second game of the NCAA Gainesville regional. The Gators defeated the Wildcats 4-0, with Florida second baseman Casey Turgeon saving the no-hitter with a leaping grab of a line drive for the final out of the game.
“I guess the stars aligned for me,” said Crawford, who needed only 98 pitches to take care of the Wildcats.
Crawford’s teammates mobbed him in the center of the infield after the final out. It was the first no-hitter in NCAA tournament play since 1991, when Florida pitcher John Burke no-hit Furman. It came on the same night of another rarity – Kent State’s 20-inning win over Kentucky in the Gary, Ind., regional. Both seem to point to the impact of rule changes instituted prior to the 2011 season to deaden bats.
“This is a night that doesn’t come around very often,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan