MILFORD – It was quite a week for Milford senior pitcher Justin Arnold.
He spun a six-inning perfect game, helping Milford to a 10-0 win against Turpin April 24. In his next start, he tossed a two-hitter as the Eagles downed Withrow 16-0 April 29.
“He had a chance to get another perfect game, but there were two infield hits that found the right spot on the diamond,” Milford coach Tom Kilgore said. “He’s had 16 strikeouts, surrendered one walk and given up two hits in his last two games.”
In his perfect game outing, Arnold retired all 18 hitters he faced, striking out six in earning his third win of the season. He also coaxed three fly ball outs, two lineouts and seven ground ball outs.
The old adage in baseball is that teammates don’t talk to or sit near a pitcher who has a perfect game going. To Kilgore’s knowledge, no one said anything about it. He added Arnold’s demeanor was good given the situation.
Of course, any perfect game wouldn’t be complete without at least one scare.
Early in the game, Turpin cracked a line drive right back through the box. Fortunately, Arnold was able to make a play on it.
“It happened so early in the game you almost aren’t worried about it breaking up anything like a no-hitter or perfect game,” Kilgore said. “We have a scoreboard that shows hits so as the game wore on, we started to become more aware of it.”
His feat was the first one of this magnitude at Milford since senior Rob Murphy pitched back-to-back no-hitters for the Eagles back in 1993.
“I was an assistant coach here at Milford for Murphy’s no-hitters, but I don’t think I’ve seen a perfect game,” the coach said. “Justin’s been a main factor on our pitching staff for the last three years.”
Kilgore said the pitching staff has been the calling card of the Eagles for a number of years. This season is no different.
Before last weekend, Arnold had a 3-0 record with 22 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings and a tidy 0.31 ERA. Kyle Ruehlman was 4-1 with 34 strikeouts in 30 innings and a 0.70 ERA. Brad Hall is 2-0 in four appearances with a 1.05 ERA.
“All three have great command and give us a great chance to win,” Kilgore said.