Each week during the 2013-14 season a Maryland student-athlete, who has shown excellence on and off the playing field, will be selected as the Solomon Eye Associates Terp of the Week. This week's Solomon Eye Associates Terp of the Week is senior Jake Stinnett of the Maryland baseball team.
By Joe Atmonavage, Maryland Athletics Media Relations
A no-hitter is one of the most rare feats in sports. Everything has to go right for a pitcher to throw a complete game without giving up a hit. From the pitcher keeping batters off balance, to the defense making plays behind the pitcher, and getting a few lucky bounces, there is a reason why you don’t hear about many no-hitters.
Well, senior pitcher Jake Stinnett had everything working for him Saturday in a 4-0 victory for the Terps against UMass in front of the home crowd at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.
Stinnett notched the school’s first no-hitter since 2008 after he struck out Paul Yanakopulous with two outs in the ninth inning.
The no-hitter was just the sixth one in school history by a single pitcher. Stinnett joins the exclusive class of 1972 ACC Player of the Year, Bob Grossman, Rich Fillings, John Wayne, and Scott Swinson, who threw the school’s last no-hitter in 2008.
Stinnett, who is now 2-1 on the season, was in total control the entire afternoon. He struck out nine UMass batters and only allowed two to reach base on walks. But even after his spectacular performance, Stinnett was quick to give credit to the guys behind him who made tough plays to keep the no-hitter going.
“There could have been a couple of hits that game, but the defense picked me up so many times,” Stinnett said. “They do it every game, but especially that game.”
Stinnett said he made sure to thank the guys who made clutch plays in the field. Second baseman Brandon Lowe, shortstop Blake Schmit, and centerfielder Charlie White all made crucial plays throughout the game.
While Stinnett knew his defense was on top of their game, he took a somewhat simple approach throughout his performance.
He said he was just “throwing strikes and mixing it up.” Stinnett also added that he was really trying to keep the UMass batters off balance.
Head coach John Szefc had high praise for Stinnett’s performance and how much he has developed from last season.
"He had pretty much everything working [Saturday]. It doesn't happen every day that a guy is that sharp. He's able to throw strikes and command the zone almost on command,” Szefc said. “Whereas last year when he was still developing, I don't think he had that kind of command. It's hard to beat him because he's constantly in the zone."
Stinnett, who was already the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week after he tossed eight innings and only gave up one hit to Bryant in a 3-0 Terps victory the previous weekend, continues to add to his list of accolades this season.
Since the no-hit performance Saturday, Stinnett was once again selected as the ACC Pitcher of the Week along with being named one the national Louisville Slugger Players of the Week by Collegiate Baseball News, and on Tuesday, he was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Pitcher of the Week.
In Stinnett’s last two starts, he has pitched 17 innings while giving up no runs, only one hit, and recording 20 strikeouts.
Stinnett certainly had everything working for him Saturday as he retired 11 straight UMass batters to cap off his historic performance that will forever be etched in Terps baseball history.