Kuchmaner repeats with AAC and National Weekly Honors
For the second-straight week, ECU sophomore Jake Kuchmaner has been named the American Athletic Conference Pitcher-of-the-Week and tabbed as one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players-of-the-Week after tossing a perfect game at Maryland on Sunday, March 17.
The lefty threw the 28th perfect game in NCAA Division I history striking out eight batters and did not allow a hit or issue a walk on the afternoon in the Pirates’ 3-0 series sweep of the Terrapins. Retiring all 27 batters faced, Kuchmaner recorded at last one strikeout in seven frames with two in the eighth, including the last batter (Kody Milton) to secure the win.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Terps sent the bottom third of their order to the plate. Kuchmaner got Justin Vought to pop out to second, Tommy Gardiner grounded out to Alec Burleson at first on diving play right of the bag then the Waxhaw, N.C. native got Milton swinging to end the contest.
The perfection was the first by an NCAA Division I pitcher since Washington's Joe DeMers against North Dakota State back on Feb. 24, 2018. It also marked the 11th contest in Pirate history that an opponent did not tally a base hit and is the first since Ricky Brooks' no-hitter against Memphis in 2005.
A week ago, Kuchmaner came one out away from registering a no-hitter at No. 9 Ole Miss. On the week, he appeared in two games allowing one run (earned) on one hit with 14 strikeouts to three walks in 14.2 innings. His other outing was in relief at No. 24 Duke where he allowed a run (earned) on one hit in 5.2 innings, which included six strikeouts and three walks.
With Kuchmaner’s pitcher-of-the-week honors, it marks the sixth time this season a Pirate has earned AAC weekly accolades following Jake Agnos (pitcher/Feb. 25), Turner Brown (honor roll/March 11), Burleson (honor roll/Feb. 18; player/Feb. 25) and Kuchmaner (pitcher/March 11).
No. 14 ECU (15-6) will be back in action on Wednesday, March 20 when it plays host to instate rival UNCW at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.