Summers posts no-no

College Baseball

Junior right-hander tosses fourth no-hitter in UCI history against 49ers to deliver his second straight shutout.

May 27, 2011|By Barry Faulkner,

IRVINE — Memorial Day on Monday traditionally marks the end of spring, but a celebration of Summer(s) occurred a few days early Friday night at UC Irvine's Anteater Ballpark.

UCI junior Matt Summers tossed a no-hitter in a 2-0 Big West Conference win over Long Beach State to cap a dominant conference season in which he was 8-0 in Big West Conference series openers.

Summers, struck out five, walked one, hit one batter and faced one over the minimum. He threw 105 pitches, 68 for strikes to produce the fourth no-hitter in school history. It was the first time Long Beach State has ever been hitless in a nine-inning game. The Dirtbags had previously been no-hit in five innings and seven innings.


For the second straight start — following a complete-game two-hitter at Riverside the previous Friday — Summers did not allow a runner to reach second base.

"He has been really spectacular for about six Fridays in a row," UCI Coach Mike Gillespie said of Summers, who has won eight straight decisions, and eight of his last nine starts. He is 10-2 in his first season as a full-time starter and he lowered his earned-run average to 1.74. In his last seven starts, his ERA is 1.13.

Last season, Summers, who entered UCI as an outfielder and a pitcher, had a an ERA of 8.51, worst on the staff, in 30 2/3 innings.

"The only no-no I've had was in summer ball and that was five innings," said Summers, who pitched more than eight innings for the first time in his life against Riverside. "I've never come close [to a nine-inning no-hitter]. I never thought it was going to be possible, but the hard work paid off and I just got some breaks."

Summers also made the best defensive play of the night, retreating and falling backward near the infield dirt in front of second baseman Tommy Reyes to catch a soft pop-up for the second out of the seventh. The play was made more difficult by the confluence of Summers, Reyes and first baseman Jordan Fox as the ball floated to the grass, making a collision possible.

"He's a freak athlete by the way," Gillespie said. "That play he made is really not all that shocking.

"He has made tons of progress [as a pitcher this season] and I think he has made himself some money too."

Summers, whose fastball reaches 94 mph, has reportedly been moving up the prospect charts for the upcoming June draft. He mixed a slider and a deft changeup in with the fastball to thoroughly handcuff the 49ers.

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