The Quest for 3-Straight No-Hitters

In 1938, Johnny Vander Meer did the unthinkable. He pitched two straight no-hitters in the big leagues for the Cincinnati Reds.

It's the only time that has ever been accomplished in Major League Baseball.

While it's not at the same level, Berrien Springs junior Chris Hass matched the feat of Vander Meer nearly 70 years later.

"It's pretty exciting," Hass says. "I've never threw one before, so to have two in a row is pretty special."

Yesterday, Hass went for the truly unthinkable: 3 no-hitters in a row.

You can imagine the pre-game. Warming up, thinking about if it was possible. But this is a kid who didn't even know he had pitched a no-hitter the previous two times.

His coach, John Donley, actually had to tell him after each of those games was over. Hass tried to take a similar mentality into yesterday's game.

"I'll try and avoid thinking about it," Hass explained an hour before the game. "When you think about it, you make mistakes and mess up."

While he knew it would be special, Hass down played its importance. He talked about winning being the only thing that truly mattered.

So did his coach. But Donley also put in perspective what three no-hitters in a row would mean.

"I don't care if it's little league, professional baseball, high school or legion---I have not seen that happen before," the 22-year coach said. "It would be pretty remarkable."

So Hass took the field trying not to think about it. You could tell early on that he was. He struggled with walks and control through the first two innings.

In the 3rd, he was rolling as he struck out the side. He then struck out two more batters in the 4th.

Hass cruised into the 6th when he walked a batter. He then threw a wild pitch that allowed the runner to advance to second. A groundout put the runner at 3rd with one out. Hass got a line out for the 2nd out of the inning.

At this point. It had been 19 and 1/3 innings since Hass had given up a hit. But Hass couldn't get that next batter. Nick Manning of Coloma singled up the middle and the no-hit streak was over.

"It was a good hit," Hass said. "I left it right over the plate. It was a mistake pitch."

The shutout and the lead were gone too. Suddenly, Coloma was up 1-0. Hass went from pitching a no-hitter to possibly losing his first game of the season and just the 2nd of his career.

But his teammates responded with two runs in the bottom of the 6th and Hass closed things out in the 7th to get the win and help his team clinch its 3rd straight Lakeland Conference championship.

Hass improved to 7-0 on the season. His ERA is 0.90 and he has 78 strikeouts in just 47 innings. For his career, Hass is an amazing 15-1.

Hass admitted afterward he was thinking about the no-hitter. He just couldn't' help it. How can you blame him.

His coaches say he didn't have his best stuff on the afternoon. His official line was: 7 innings, 10 strikeouts, 2 hits and 1 run. That is likely the greatest day ever for 90% of us.


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