Seamus Brazill had yet to make a start as a college pitcher before Hofstra’s game against Lamar last Saturday. But after completing six innings, the righthander found himself three outs away from the first no-hitter in Hofstra baseball history.
The last two outs however, were anything but ordinary.
Brazill struck out the first batter of the seventh, and proceeded to walk the next two batters. With runners on first and second and one out, Lamar’s Chase Whetsel hit a grounder to short and the Pride attempted to turn the 6-4-3 double play, but Whetsel beat the throw to first. As Whetsel was ruled safe, Lamar’s Cole Girouard attempted to score the tying run from second, but Hofstra first baseman Rob Weissheier threw him out at the plate to end the game and complete the no-hitter.
“I was slightly confused, I thought we got him out at first,” Brazill said. “I was starting to celebrate and head to the dugout, but I saw the runner rounding third and got nervous. It happened so quickly and awkwardly, but when we finally got the out, it was a great feeling.”
The redshirt sophomore pitched seven innings, striking out five, and allowing four walks and one hit-by-pitch to earn Hofstra a 1-0 win over Lamar, in the fourth game of a four-game series in Beaumont, Texas. It was the team’s first no-hitter, in a program that began in 1938, according to Len Skoros, Hofstra director of athletic publications.
“It is kind of surreal to be getting this attention,” said the 6-9, 245-pounder, who threw 104 pitches. “It is cool to get personal accolades, but my main focus is to get wins.”
Despite getting into trouble in the seventh, former major league pitcher and current Hofstra pitching coach John Habyan, didn’t lose confidence in Brazill.
“I knew I was going to stick with him after he got that first batter,” Habyan said. “I just knew he had something left in the tank and I wanted to give him the opportunity to finish what he started.”
As of Sunday, Hofstra (2-2) has the second lowest ERA in Division I (1.36).
Brazill redshirted his freshman season and made 22 appearances as a reliever last season for the Pride. Heading into the 2018 season, Brazill reinvented himself, losing 50 pounds through diet and exercise in his attempt to become a starter.
“It takes a lot of hard work. You can’t neglect any part of your body,” Brazill said. “We have a saying with our team, ‘get one percent better every day.’ That became a goal of mine during the offseason, and I knew I needed to do something every day to get better.”