Grand County High School senior Tyler McDougall proved Nucla’s worst nightmare Friday afternoon, tossing a no-hitter and striking out a career-high nine batters en route to a 10-0 win.
According to the Utah High School Activities Association Sports Records Book, McDougall’s no-hitter is the first one in school history.
The five-inning victory was McDougall’s second of the year and improves the Red Devils to 8-9 as they look to gain momentum down the stretch.
Grand’s offense provided McDougall plenty of help, scoring 7 runs in the first inning before tacking on 3 more in the fourth inning.
Grand County first base coach Ron Dolphin said the Red Devils couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon on senior day.
“We only had one pop-out at the plate,” he said. “All the other balls were either line drives or ground balls so I think we hit the ball well.”
The Devils batted around in the first inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring 5 runs before recording an out. McDougall led off the inning reaching on an error before being driven in by junior Aaron Lewis. Senior Parker Cook drove in Lewis and junior Preston Walston with a double before scoring himself on a single by sophomore Adam Jenkinson. Jenkinson scored on a ground-out by sophomore Koi Cook to give the Devils a 5-0 lead.
Nucla had no answer as McDougall walked two and struck out three in a harmless second frame.
McDougall said it felt good to have his best performance in the team’s final home game.
“(I had) good velocity and location,” he said. “I had a bunch of different pitches working for me.”
Parker Cook picked up his game-high 3rd RBI in the fourth inning to help the Devils take a 10-0 lead into the top of the fifth, where McDougall slammed the door, grabbing two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning for the mercy rule victory.
This was the Devils’ second mercy rule victory over Nucla this season, having beaten them 11-1 on March 24. Dolphin said Grand has been a strong, offensive-minded team all season with defensive miscues leaving them on the playoff bubble.
“We generally have one or two bad innings where we commit too many errors,” he said. “(Against) San Juan (March 20), we lost 10-9, but all 10 of their runs were unearned and we actually had a big lead on them at one point.”
Red Devil seniors were honored before the first pitch of Friday’s game. Seniors include Ryan Betts, Parker Cook and twin brothers Tyler and Tyson McDougall.
Tyson McDougall said the brothers compete for bragging rights over stats but never get upset if one is playing better than the other.
“We brag about who has better stats, more strikeouts, stuff like that,” he said. “We know each other’s skills and what we can do. We help each other out.”
The Red Devils also played at Emery on Tuesday. Results were not available by press time.
The junior varsity team hosts Dove Creek today at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The varsity players wrap up the season next week with Region 15 showdowns Monday against San Juan in Blanding and April 26 against Monticello as they look to lock up one of the final spots in the playoffs. Varsity first pitch is slated at 3 p.m. for both away games.