Watson Throws No-Hitter Against CMS

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LOS ANGELES — If you were wearing Occidental on your shirt, Game 1 of a three-game series with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps this weekend went about as well as it could have.

Nolan Watson threw the 20th no-hitter in school history, Michael Netzel hit two home runs — including a Grand slam — and the defending SCIAC Champs crushed CMS 16-0 for a mercy-rule win in seven innings at Anderson Field on Friday.

Watson struck out Trey Smith on a foul tip and then got Henri Levenson to foul out to Oxy catcherJared Baur for the final two outs, sending all of his teammates screaming towards him on the mound for an exciting celebration.

"Of course it's in the back of your mind the entire time," Watson said. "But being focused on executing to your spots doesn't change, regardless. I tried not to let it creep in and distract me. The feeling was indescribable, a relief and a weight off my shoulders. ... It's just an honor to be a part of Occidental's history."

List of Oxy No-Hitters

"It's great having him back and healthy, and pitching for us," Oxy head coach Luke Wetmore said. "We have a rich tradition of pitching here at Oxy. Names like Don Hagen, Bob Proctor, Bud Teachout and many more. .. It's exciting, it's great for Nolan and it's good for our program."

Watson, Oxy's senior ace from Bellevue, Wash., was cutting up the Stags' lineup with fastballs and curveballs. He struck out six batters and had just three walks, spending most of his time on the edge of the strike zone. Only four Stags reached base all game.

"It's what I feel like we should do every time we take the field: Throw strikes, play good defense and square up baseballs in the middle of the field. ... We did that today and I'm proud of our team," Wetmore said. 

The Oxy hitting was as impressive as the pitching, especially Netzel, a first-year third baseman. The rookie from Culver City, hit the first two home runs of his promising career, going 3 for 4 with six RBIs and three runs scored. 

"Netzel's grown a lot in the first two months of the season," Wetmore said. "He was one of our highly recruited players, he's worked hard to get to this point and to see him have success like that was a lot of fun."

Several Tigers had huge days at the plate.

Graham Pimm went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBIs and three runs scored, Jack Brancheau went 1 for 2 with an RBI and run scored, and Bryan Smith went 1 for 3 with a two-run homer and two runs scored. Eamon McNeil scored three runs and Devon DeRaad scored twice with a pair of RBIs.

Pimm has been on a terror lately, going 11 for 25 in his last 10 games.

Oxy sophomore shortstop Reid Gibbs made his return to the lineup after missing time with an injury, going 2 for 3 with an RBI-double and a run scored.

Season Impact: The Tigers improve to 15-7 overall and remain at the top of the SCIAC standings in first place 8-2.

CMS falls to 10-9 and 4-3.

Next Game: The Tigers and Stags continue their three game series with a doubleheader in Claremont on Saturday. First pitch of Game 1 is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Arce Field.

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