Benny was a beast today.
But unlike what you see in the majors when everyone loses their mind, Ben Simon and his fellow Rockets simply lined up to shake hands after a fitting strike out ended a game without a single Indian reaching base by a hit. Simon was humble about it, and hours later still seemed less than moved by what he accomplished. But his performance today was better than anything HBO could have offered up on a Wed afternoon. Much like their perfect undefeated season, the unthinkable playoff upset of #1 Frankford, and a berth in the Final Four in 2015, this too is something Simon and this team will have forever. A bona fide NO-HITTER!
Lukas Supovitz-Aznar took a No-Hitter into the last at-bat on Opening Day in a 13-0 win over Mastbaum. Leon Finney had a 2-hitter against King in his first start in Rocket Blue, and now it was Simon's turn to shine by setting a new team record for Strike Outs in a game with seventeen. It's crazy to think that this only bested Finney by one K who had 16 in their most recent outing vs Kensington on Monday. This makes 33 Ks in the last 14 innings for Rocket Starters. In fact, no team has gotten more than four hits in a single game off SLA pitching in 2016. That, plus the bats, has been a serious recipe for disaster if you're anybody but the Rockets.
In similar fashion to the methodical 3-0 win over Kensington on Monday, The Rocket played small ball by adding a run in each inning to build a 4-0 lead into the 6th after Kevin Courtney smashed a 300ft home run to dead center. They'd add four more in the 6th and 7th, but by that point Simon was locked in. After the 3rd, "Benny Buckets" struck out 10 of 14 batters faced, and the only contact made were two weak tappers back to the mound that Ben easily ran down to first himself.
As far as Rocket offense went, Senior 1st Basemen Kevin Courtney was back at it, going 3-5 with the Home Run and 3RBIs. Freshman Catcher Avi Cantor also had 3 RBIs of his own, going 2-2, drawing 2 Walks and a Sac Bunt to move a runner that would score on a single by Sophomore Outfielder Tony Brown.
It may take some cool dreams tonight for the reality to truly sink in for Simon. However, April 20, 2016 will forever be engrained in Royal Blue lore as the first Complete Game No-Hitter in Rockets Baseball history.
Congratulations Buckets, you're truly a Beast!
Next Up - The Rockets return to their home field in Mt. Airy after a perfect 4-0 road trip to take on E&S this Fri, 4/22.