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:
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.