No. 17 East Carolina’s Jake Kuchmaner threw a perfect game against Maryland baseball on Sunday afternoon, giving the Pirates a three-game sweep with a 3-0 victory Sunday.
Kuchmaner needed only 101 pitches for his perfect game, striking out eight Terps. After the left-hander threw 8.2 no-hit innings earlier this season, he completed an even more rare accomplishment in College Park. It’s the first perfect game in ECU history and the first at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.
For the second straight game, Maryland’s pitchers held the East Carolina hitters at bay. But once again, it wasn’t enough, as Terrapin batters came up empty against Pirate pitching. In the series, the Terps managed just one run, which was unearned.
Maryland’s Trevor LaBonte was locked in a pitchers’ duel with Kuchmaner, both pitchers not allowing a run through the first five innings. But the Terps’ freshman right-hander did not make it out of the sixth, allowing two runs on five hits in 5.1 innings.
With the game scoreless after five innings, East Carolina struck first. Spencer Brickhouse drilled an 0-2 pitch just past Chris Alleyne’s reach for a double. After Alec Burleson lined out to first, Turner Brown singled to right; however Brickhouse was held up at third. With runners on the corners, Thomas Francisco doubled in both runners to put the Pirates on top 2-0. LaBonte was relieved by Elliot Zoellner. A wild pitch sent Francisco to third with one out. But Zoellner was able to shut down the Pirates and keep the Terrapin deficit at two.
Zoellner, Sean Fisher, and Nick Turnbull kept the Pirates off the board in the seventh and eighth innings. But Kuchmaner remained perfect in the bottom of the eighth. The southpaw struck out two batters and got a weak ground out to keep the perfect game intact.
John Murphy took the hill for Maryland in the ninth and gave up a solo homer to Seth Caddell. In the bottom of the ninth, Justin Vought popped out to second, Tommy Gardiner grounded out, and pinch hitter Kody Milton struck out, to complete the perfect game for Kuchmaner.
LaBonte took the loss to make his record 1-1. The Terps are now 10-8 in 2019. They return to action on Tuesday as they travel down to Elon for a two-game set. Tuesday’s game starts at 4 p.m. ET.