Flying Flucos end season with no–hitter

Charlottesville’s second batter in the first inning hit a hard ground ball just inside first base. Fluco senior first baseman Jake Fulk made a nice play to snag the ball and beat the batter to the base for the second out of the inning. After that out, Gibson either recorded a strike out, or forced an easy pop–up or routine ground out. The Black Knights did not come close to a hit the rest of the way.

This game started with two scoreless innings. The Flucos loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, but were unable to plate a run. Left–fielder Shawn Holyfield led off the inning with a single to left. After two outs, third–baseman Sam Fleming was hit by a pitch and Fulk managed a walk to load the bases. However, a bouncer back to the pitcher ended the inning.

Gibson struck out the side in the top of the third inning. In the bottom of the third, the Flucos got all the runs they would need. Centerfielder Brett Haislip led off the inning with a solid single. After an out, Tre’ Bright was beaned by a pitch, but it glanced off the top of his batting helmet and did no damage.

Clean–up batter Holyfield followed with his second hit in two at bats, as he managed an infield single to load the bases. An error by the Charlottesville shortstop resulted in the Flucos scoring the first run of the game, and left the bases loaded. Gibson then walked to force in the second run. After the second out, Fulk delivered a single to bring in the third run. The Flucos led 3–0 after three.

The fourth and fifth innings were both scoreless. In the top of the sixth, Gibson continued his mastery of the Black Knights, setting them down with strike out, a bouncer back to the mound and another strike out.

In the bottom of the sixth the Flucos blew the game open. Fulk worked a walk. Jud Searcy lifted a fly ball to left, which the Black Knights’ outfielder bobbled and dropped. Lead–off batter Haislip walked to load the bases. Pinch hitter Austin Brown also walked to bring in the fourth run for the Flucos. Number three batter Bright then delivered the coup de grace, lining a drive over the centerfielder’s head for a three–run triple, the only extra base hit of the game. Bright then scored on wild pitch, for the final run of the game. Thanks to a lack of control by the Black Knights’ pitcher, the Flucos scored five runs in the sixth on one hit.

Gibson completed his no–hitter in the top of the seventh by recording a strike out, a harmless pop out to shortstop and another strike out.

The Flucos ended their regular season with a 7–9 record and Coach Bryan Searcy noted that “we did what we had to do” to set the team up for the conference post–season tournament. The Flucos were scheduled to play their first conference game on Friday, May 20. The Conference tournament is single elimination, so it is win or go home.

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