Two of the rarest statistical feats converged for the same team on Thursday in Texas, when Amarillo (Texas) Tascosa High managed to earn both a no-hitter and turn a triple play in a single game.
As first reported by the Amarillo Globe News, Tascosa rolled to a 10-0 victory against Perryton (Texas) High, jumping to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and then riding the powerful arm of sophomore right-hander Tanner Cordova. The game eventually ended after the fifth, when Tascosa tacked on another seven runs to end the early season tournament via a run-rule provision that ended any games once a lead swelled to 10 runs.
Still, Cordova never would have earned the no-hitter if he hadn't received the incredibly rare aid of a triple play in the fourth frame. The play started with a line drive to Tascosa first baseman Tucker Davidson, who caught the drive cleanly, stepped on first base to double off that runner then tossed the ball to second, where another Perryton base runner had been leading off.
The triple killing ensured that Cordova faced the bare minimum 15 batters in his shortened no-hit outing.
So, how rare is it to witness a no-hitter and triple play in the same game? According to the Society of American Baseball Research, the feat has happened professionally just one time: Last summer, when the Northwest Arkansas Naturals pulled off the daily double in a Texas League game on June 19.
Even though Cordova's no-hitter will go down in the record books as a shortened affair, he insisted that did little to cheapen the thrill.
"It's something I try not to think about while I'm out there pitching because I want to let the defense make the plays," Cordova told the Globe News. "I was just hitting my spots with a curveball, and that's going to give me a chance to win. It's a great feeling, and it's something I'm going to remember the rest of my high school career."
It's just a hunch, but it strikes Prep Rally that once the pure statistical odds of tossing a no-hitter and being backed up by a triple play actually set in, Cordova might remember his afternoon outing for a lot longer than the duration of his high school days.