FARMINGTON — East Cobb Yankees’ pitchers Garrett Gooden and Brian DeCarlo combined for the first no-hitter in the Connie Mack World Series since 2009 as the duo shut out the Connecticut Bombers today at Ricketts Park.
Gooden started for the Yankees, out of Marietta, Ga., and pitched five innings before giving way to DeCarlo for the final inning to help East Cobb to an 8-0 win over the Bombers from Hamden, Conn., in Game 10.
“He had good stuff and his (velocity) was up today,” East Cobb coach James Beavers said of Gooden. “That’s how he had been throwing early in the year, but the last week or two, he had a bit of a dead arm, so it was good to see him come out and throw the way he was. When he throws like that, he’s pretty hard to hit.”
The game ended in the bottom of the sixth inning via the run rule when pinch hitter Jason Avers doubled off the wall in center field to drive in Kyle Jacobsen.
In Gooden’s five innings, he walked two batters and struck out five. Dealing with temperatures in the 90s and the increased elevation from Georgia to Farmington, Gooden said the environment took a toll on him early, but he adjusted as the game continued.
“I felt pretty good for the first two innings, then in the third inning I probably threw more pitches than I did in the first two innings and started to feel it,” Gooden said. “But we got out of the inning, and after that I got acclimated to (the elevation).”
East Cobb put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the first. After a hit batter and a walk put runners on first and second, Austin Wilhite hit a flair single to shallow right, driving in one run. Later, with runners on second and third, Xzavion Curry hit a hard ball to third base, but Bombers’ Tyler Pyne’s throw to first was wide and allowed two runs to score on the error to make it 3-0.
Despite the early scoring spree, East Cobb only came up with one hit in the first two innings while Bombers’ pitcher Tim Doty kept the Yankees off balance with off-speed pitches.
“We didn’t do very well hitting in the first couple of innings. We got a lot of off-speed pitches, and I thought (Doty) did a good job against us until we made a few adjustments,” Beavers said. “And we got some breaks, which always helps us and hurts them.”
The Yankees added to their lead in the third inning, getting another two-out RBI single from Wilhite to push the lead to 4-0.
The East Cobb bats warmed up in the fourth. After a lead-off double from Billy Zinnershine, Tucker Maxwell came through with an RBI single, making it 5-0. In the next at-bat, Devin Warner drove in Maxwell to extend the lead to 6-0. Later in the inning, with two outs and the bases loaded, Curry drew a walk to push one more run across the plate.
Connecticut’s only real threat to score came in the top of the first inning after an East Cobb error put Bombers on first and second with one out. But Gooden got Anthony Butler to hit a ground ball to third base that resulted in an inning-ending double play.
The Bombers (1-1) fall to the bottom side of the bracket and will play D-BAT Elite 17U at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at Ricketts Park.
East Cobb (2-0) will receive a bye into the fourth round of the world series on Wednesday. The time of the game and the Yankees’ opponent has yet to be determined.
“I’m not crazy about byes in the middle of a tournament,” Beavers said. “You almost wish you could play every day, but we’ll get some practice and try to maintain our focus because we know it’s going to get tougher as we go through the tournament.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.
East Cobb Yankees
Leading hitter: Austin Wilhite, 2 for 2, 2 RBIs, 1 R
WP: Garrett Gooden
LP: Tim Doty