Virginia's Nathan Kirby Named ACC Pitcher of the Week
UVa sophomore Nathan Kirby has been named the ACC Pitcher of the Week. The lefty pitched a no-hitter on Friday striking out 18 batters in Virginia's 4-0 win over Pittsburgh.
Kirby says, "everything that could've gone my way, went my way that night. It's something that I'm going to remember for the rest of my life."
On Friday, Kirby used a fastball clocked up to 95 miles per hour and a wicked slider and change up.
Kirby adds, "I would throw a ball then throw a strike, then throw a ball and I guess it just kept them off balance. That and the wind was all in my favor."
The 18-strikeouts are just one shy of the ACC record. It was Virginia's first no-hitter in three years. The performance was the best by any individual player in college baseball this season. At one on Friday, Kirby struck out 10-straight batters from the second inning through the beginning of the fifth.
UVa coach Brian O'Connor says, "that's as dominating a pitching performances as we've seen at the University of Virginia. He had a really live fastball going on. He had a really nice breaking ball. He was throwing strikes and it's just amazing that you throw a no-hitter and you have 18 strikeouts and only throw 127 pitches. He was very, very efficient."
Kirby is having an All-American caliber season. He has a record of 6-1 with a minuscule era of 1.03. He has 55 strikeouts and just 10 walks.
O'Connor adds, "I think Nathan Kirby, in my time here at the University of Virginia is the most improved pitcher that we've had from one year to the next. You can look at statistics and see he's got dominating type stuff and he's backed it up every time out."
Kirby says, "I just feel like having been in that scenario before just gives you a lot more confidence knowing that you have a team behind you that can make the plays."
Virginia has a record of 27-5. The 'Hoos are ranked #2 this week in the USA Today Coaches Poll and by Baseball America. Virginia plays at JMU Tuesday at 6pm.
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Marty Hudtloff is the Sports Director at WVIR-TV. He joined the NBC29 sports team in October of 2003. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University. You can reach out to Marty via Email or Twitter.