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COLUMBUS, Ohio Alex Wimmers threw a gem Saturday, May 2, 2009. The sophomore from Cincinnati no-hit Michigan to lead No. 27 Ohio State to a 6-0 victory in Game 1 of a doubleheader.  

Wimmers struck out 14 Wolverines and walked four, but he faced only one batter over the minimum because of help from catcher Dan Burkhart, his St. Michael’s Grade School and Archbishop Moeller High School buddy, who threw out three Wolverines trying to steal.

Wimmers also got terrific, hit-erasing defensive plays from second baseman Cory Kovanda in the seventh inning and from shortstop Tyler Engle in the eighth. Kovanda went completely parallel to the ground, diving to his right to make a catch of a two-out line shot by Ryan LaMarre. Engle made a diving stop in the hole behind second base, landed hard with his face smacking the dirt, but was able to recover and shovel the ball to a waiting Kovanda at second base to get the force out. Coach Bob Todd called that play unbelievable.

 

Wimmers’ effort was simply unbelievable, too. He struck out 10-or-more batters for the sixth time this season and his 14 strikeouts gives him 103 for the season, making him only the ninth Buckeye with 100 or more strikeouts in a season and the first since Josh Newman struck out 100 in 2004.

“Wimmers had command of all three of his pitches,” Ohio State coach Bob Todd said after the game. “He did not give in to their hitters. There’s a method to his madness and he simply was not going to give in to the hitters.”

“I go out with an attitude of how I want to pitch and then I’ll throw any pitch in any count,” Wimmers said. “Emotions took over right after the game. It still hasn’t hit me yet, but some day it will.”

To help this all sink in, here’s a few more facts about the day Alex Wimmers threw a no-hitter, and some history of Ohio State no-hitters:

  • The game was originally scheduled for Friday, May 1, but had to be rescheduled to Saturday because of thunderstorms and tornadic activity rolling through the area Friday night. It was the first game of the Saturday doubleheader and it drew a season high crowd of 3,219 to Bill Davis Stadium.
  • The game was 250th in the series between Ohio State and Michigan. First game was in 1895.
  • Wimmers’ no-hitter was the ninth in school history. It was, however, the first-ever nine-inning no-hitter in 126 seasons of Ohio State baseball. 
  • Prior to Wimmers’ gem, the last no-hitter at Ohio State was Greg Prenger’s no-no on April 9, 2003, a perfect game against Oakland that covered eight innings.
  • Only seven Buckeyes have thrown complete game no-hitters. Two of the no-hitters were combined efforts.
  • This was the third no-hitter at Bill Davis Stadium. Interestingly, all three were against schools from Michigan.  Eric Thompson no-hit Michigan State May 10, 1998 and Prenger’s was against Oakland University, from Rochester, Mich. 
  • This was the second time an Ohio State pitcher has no-hit Michigan: Joe Sparma did it on May 18, 1963, a 3-0 Ohio State win in seven innings.
  • Michigan had not been no-hit in 27 years. Western Michigan’s Buster Sunde was the last to no-hit the Wolverines, on April 14, 1982, but UM won the game, 1-0.

Wimmers, who is on the National Pitcher of the Year watch list, an award sponsored by the College Baseball Foundation and Mizuno, is now 8-1 this season with a 2.79 ERA.

###OhioStateBuckeyes.com###