No one saw a complete game coming for Maryland’s Ryan Ramsey, let alone a perfect game.
The junior left-hander had worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen his first two seasons, and Friday marked his first outing since being promoted from No. 2 starter to No. 1.
Ramsey was never better than in the 13-0 win over Northwestern, throwing the 20th nine-inning perfect game since the NCAA began tracking the statistic in 1957.
Relying on his fastball and changeup, he struck out 10 and got eight flyouts and nine groundouts. He threw a career-high 118 pitches, 80 of them strikes. He went to a three-ball count five times.
The past couple days have been a whirlwind for Ramsey, who is from Montvale, New Jersey.
”The outpouring from friends, family and teammates, it’s been awesome,” Ramsey said Monday. ”People that have been following me for years since I started my high school run, it’s awesome to see them reach back out for this accomplishment.”
Coach Rob Vaughn and pitching coach Mike Morrison went into the seventh inning prepared to pull Ramsey (8-0). Will Glock was warming up in the bullpen, and Ramsey had a full count against Ethan O’Donnell leading off.
”I was kind of on a short leash because it was a day prior to when I usually start,” Ramsey said. ”I know they were talking about it. If anyone got on, they were going to put Glock in.”
O’Donnell fouled off a pitch before going down swinging, and Ramsey went on to finish the first nine-inning perfect game since Duke’s Bryce Jarvis threw one against Cornell on Feb. 21, 2020.
Ramsey credited Morrison for calling the right pitches at the right time, catcher Luke Shliger and big defensive plays by right fielder Troy Schreffler, second baseman Kevin Keister and third baseman Nick Lorusso.
With three weeks left in the regular season, the Terrapins (35-9, 11-4 Big Ten) are one win away from tying the school single-season record set in 2015, second in the Big Ten behind Rutgers and ranked as high as No. 18.
Ramsey said he and fellow starters Jason Savacool and Nick Dean can pitch knowing they probably will get ample run support. The Terps are averaging 8.2 runs per game and have 80 homers, with four players having hit at least 11.
”Our starting pitching rotation, we’re not as good as we’re thought to be,” Ramsey said. ”It’s our offense. We’re 35-9 for a reason. I haven’t been perfect the whole entire season. I’ve been giving up three, four runs some outings, but my confidence on the mound comes from our offense being able to produce the amount of runs they have. They don’t get the acknowledgement they need.”
IN THE POLLS
Tennessee (40-4), Oregon State (34-9) and Oklahoma State (31-13) are 1-2-3 in the D1Baseball.com and Baseball America polls. Collegiate Baseball newspaper’s top three are Tennessee, Arkansas (34-10) and Oregon State.
The Volunteers took two of three from Auburn at home and tied the 2000 South Carolina team for the fewest games played to reach 40 wins by an SEC team since the league expanded in 1992.
Oregon State won two of three at Utah to keep hold of first place in the Pac-12, Oklahoma State swept Texas on the road for the second time in three visits to Austin and Arkansas took two of three against Mississippi at home.
BRINGING THE HEAT
Tennessee reliever Ben Joyce, who had Tommy John surgery 18 months ago, threw what’s believed to be the fastest pitch in college baseball history when he touched 105.5 mph against Auburn’s Cole Foster in the eighth inning Sunday.
According to Tennessee’s Yakker Tech data tracking system, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound fireballer threw 28 pitches that were clocked at 103 mph or faster. Of those, 15 were 104 mph or faster and three were 105 mph or faster.
The fastest pitch recorded in the major leagues was 105.8 mph by Aroldis Chapman in 2010.
Florida A&M’s Ethan Jenkins homered in five straight at-bats over two games at Mississippi Valley State.
Jenkins went deep in all four of his at-bats in Friday’s 16-5 win and on his first at-bat in Saturday’s 17-6 win. He had a combined two homers in the Rattlers’ first 40 games.
Florida State’s Marshall McDougall holds the NCAA record with homers in six straight at-bats against Maryland in 1999.
GAUCHOS GOING GANGBUSTERS
UC Santa Barbara coach Andrew Checketts has his team chugging toward a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Gauchos have won 12 straight Big West games after sweeping Cal Poly and hold a six-game lead over Hawaii in the conference standings.
AIR FORCE FLYING HIGH
Air Force sprung one of the under-the-radar sweeps of the weekend, taking three against visiting Mountain West-leading offensive juggernaut UNLV. The Falcons outscored the Rebels 51-17 in the series and are averaging 15 runs per game over their last 10.
UNLV has one of its best offensive teams in program history and entered the Air Force series averaging 10 runs per game and batting .341, both best in the nation.
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