Trever Coogan was coming for Bryce Collins. And no one could stop him.
The Hart catcher raced towards Collins, his pitcher, at the conclusion of the Indians’ 14-0 home win over Golden Valley on Wednesday and threw him over his shoulder.
When a pitcher throws a complete-game no-hitter with 14 strikeouts, a celebration like that is absolutely necessary.
“(He) picked me up and threw me on his back,” said Collins. “He told me he was going to give me a big hug, but I didn’t think he was going to do that.”
The journey to a no-hitter was a long and trying one for Collins, who had to take time off of preseason training as he battled the flu and mono.
Collins lost 18 pounds throughout his illnesses, but had the support from the Hart coaching staff in addition to coaches Chris Antariksa, Jim Wagner and Warren Bauer.
“The second I was cleared to start throwing again, those three guys were on me right away,” he said.
Against Golden Valley (8-11 overall, 0-8 in Foothill League), Collins had his teammates to back him up, too. Cody Jefferis went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, a single and a double.
Ryan Carolan was 1-for-1 with an RBI double and Rory Holloway was 1-for-2 with an RBI double for the Indians (12-9, 6-2). Kyle Smisko, Jakob Marquez, Rocco Saldivar, Cooper Austin, Coogan, Pat Arman, Brooks Statley and Kendall Thomas each logged RBIs.
Now that Collins has achieved his goal of a perfect game, his focus is on taking the league crown alongside his teammates.
“I want to win league. That’s on the mind right now,” he said. “That’s all I want right now is to celebrate a league title with this great group.”
The series between the Indians and Grizzlies resumes on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Golden Valley.