Cole McDonald had it all working on Friday night (or this morning, here), no-hitting the Czech Republic in an 8-0 victory for Team USA. McDonald struck out seven and walked just three in his nine innings of work.
That no-hitter feeling! #Hawkeyes #USATeam #USAHawks @mcdonald_cole pic.twitter.com/eQoJ0TNhNH— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) August 25, 2017
His biggest jam was in the first inning, when he had to pitch around a couple of walks to get out of the inning. After that, it was all smooth sailing for the righty, who would go on to retire 11 straight hitters at one point before a Kyle Crowl error ended that streak.
In the end, with a runner on first, McDonald was able to induce a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to secure the no-no. The audio for the final out can be found below.
At no point did the junior ever have to worry about run support. The Iowa bats helped jump Team USA out to an early 6-0 lead in the first inning before McDonald ever had to take the mound - Tyler Cropley got things started with a two-run double and Czech Republic made three errors in the first inning, allowing Team USA to never look back.
McDonald needed only 97 pitches in order to finish the no-hitter, and qualified for what is known in baseball circles as a “Maddux.” A “Maddux” is a game in which the starting pitcher throws a complete game shutout and needs less than 100 pitches to do so, and is named after Greg Maddux, who threw 13 such games in his career. It’s an impressive feat, as it’s hard to pitch with that kind of efficiency.
It’s been a long time since Iowa baseball has had a no-hitter. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to 1965 to find the last time an Iowa pitcher threw a complete game no-hitter, when Bob Schauenberg threw a perfect game for the Hawkeyes in a 4-0 victory over Central. It’s the fourth time in the history of the program that a pitcher has thrown a no-hitter in a nine-inning game, and the ninth time it’s happened in a game of any length.
Team USA plays Korea on Saturday morning, or 10pm CT on Friday.