Nick Vaughn's no-hitter sends Clackamas to 6A baseball semis
Clackamas pitcher Nick Vaughn got into a rhythm Wednesday that was as good as any he's ever had on the mound.
Vaughn fired a no-hitter with one walk and five strikeouts. Leading the No. 3-ranked Cavaliers to a 2-0 victory over Lake Oswego in Wednesday's second round of the OSAA Class 6A baseball playoffs at Clackamas High School.
With the win, the Cavaliers (22-7) advanced to the quarterfinals and will play host to No. 6 Roseburg (17-6) in a 5 p.m. game Friday.
"That was really good," Vaughn said. "I've never had command of the strike zone like I had in that game. I mean, I have, but not as good from start to finish as I was Wednesday.
"I'd actually had kind of a bad bullpen before the game. I wasn't hitting the strike zone at all, so I was kind of nervous going into the first inning, but once I got into a grove, I just couldn't stop."
Vaughn was perfect through the five innings and retired the first 16 batters he faced before surrendering a walk to Lake Oswego's Matt Williams with one out in the sixth inning.
"I knew I had a perfect game going," Vaughn said. "It was in my head and I don't know if I jinxed it or anything, but after the walk I still had the no-hitter going into the seventh and I tried to not think about it and just pitch my game."
In the seventh, the first two Lake Oswego batters flew out to center, Brandon Day then reached on an error, and then Vaughn struck out Thomas Dukart to end the game.
"My change-up had a lot of bite to it and I was catching them out in front," Vaughn said. "I'd throw a fastball and if they were a little bit behind it, then we'd come back with a change-up and catch 'em out front almost every time."
Vaughn threw a total of 77 pitches, including 57 for strikes, and of the 23 batters he faced, he threw first-pitch strikes to 18.
"Nick was absolutely outstanding," Cavaliers coach John Arntson said. "That's the best I've ever seen him throw in the four years he's been in this program. I had this feeling before the game he was really locked in.
"He was getting ahead in the count so well with his off-speed stuff, whether it was a first-pitch change-up or a first-pitch curveball. Then once he was ahead, it forced LO's hitters to expand the zone and then they started getting defensive with two strikes and just not putting good swings on some pitches, chasing some pitches out of the zone that they probably didn't want to hit."
The Cavaliers gave Vaughn all the offensive support he needed in the second inning when Jack Dorn reached on a single and came around to score on an error, and Grant Schoen reached on an error and later scored on Nate Vaughn's sacrifice fly to center.