Alabama throws 9-inning no-hitter in 7-0 win over MVSU

Kevin Connell

It took Alabama three pitchers, 130 pitches and 27 outs for the Crimson Tide to get the result it wanted and just a little more.

Justin Kamplain, Jay Shaw and Geoffrey Bramblett combined to throw the first nine-inning no-hitter for Alabama in 72 years in the Crimson Tide’s 7-0 victory over Mississippi Valley State Saturday afternoon.

“What a great accomplishment today by Justin Kamplain, Jay Shaw and [Geoffrey] Bramblett on the back end,” Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard said. “There hasn’t been a nine-inning no-hitter since 1942 here. Really proud of those guys.”

The no-hitter was the eighth in program history and the fourth accomplished in nine full innings. The last time the Crimson Tide threw a no-hitter was also a combined perfect game in six innings on March 31, 1993 against South Florida.

Eddie Owcar threw the last nine-inning no-hitter for the Crimson Tide on April 24, 1942 at Ole Miss.

In 26 years of coaching, Gaspard had never before been a part of a no-hitter.

“It’s the first time,” he said. “I’ve been close a couple of times, we had one a few years back that was broken up in the ninth so I know how much of a challenge is to finish it off.”

Kamplain, a junior left-handed pitcher and the regular Saturday starter, threw seven no-hit innings on a career-high 12 strikeouts with only two walks and hit one batter.

“It was a great day,” Kamplain said. “I had all three pitches working for me and any day you have all three pitches working for you, it’s going to be a pretty fun day.”

At one point, beginning with a strikeout to end the fourth inning, Kamplain threw nine strikeouts in a row – a streak that didn’t end until he conceded a walk after two strikeouts in the seventh inning with Alabama leading 5-0.

“I didn’t really know what I was doing out there as far as strikeout-wise,” Kamplain said. “We’ve been more so focused on cleaning some mechanics up, kind of working on us, and I just went right after them and it just played out the way it did.”

But with a pitch count of 98, Kamplain was pulled after the seventh to preserve him ahead of next weekend’s Southeastern Conference opening series against Kentucky. Kamplain said he was fine with the decision that was made.

“As far as the conversation we had, it wasn’t that difficult,” Kamplain said. “It’s not a big deal to me.”

Kamplain was replaced by Shaw ahead of the eighth inning with the Crimson Tide leading 7-0, before Bramblett, a freshman, completed the no-hitter for Alabama.

According to Gaspard, the team was aware of the no-hitter that was going on throughout the course of the game but avoided making any direct mention of it.

“That’s the old cardinal rule there, you don’t say that in the dugout, it’s never mentioned,” he said. “You dance around it and say a few things, but no hits or anything like that is never mentioned in the dugout. That’s the curse. You mention it and they’re going to get a hit in a hurry. You just keep it in mind, know what’s at stake and go execute pitches.”

Alabama will look to complete its first series sweep of the season at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.