Long Beach City College sophomore pitcher Steven Gallardo had a historical afternoon as he tossed a 10-inning no-hitter over El Camino College-Compton Center this afternoon in a 1-0 South Coast Conference win at LBCC's Joe Hicks Memorial Field.
Gallardo, originally out of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, struck out 17 batters and allowed just a walk and a hit batter in an amazing effort. He tossed 112 pitches and retired the first 14 batters he faced.
He had a perfect game until he nailed Compton's Michael Medina with a pitch with two outs in the fifth inning. He also issued a leadoff walk to Daniel Hordo to open the top of the ninth, but eventually stranded Hordo at third base to keep the game scoreless.
Gallardo struck out the side in the top of the 10th inning before the Vikings rallied for the game-winning run in the bottom of the frame.
Freshman Avery Flores (Millikan HS) reached second base to lead off the LBCC half of the 10th after an error by shortstop Mark Silva. Sophomore Daniel Catalan (Warren HS) beat out a bunt single before Compton intentionally walked freshman Steven Contursi (Laguna Beach HS) to load the bases with no outs.
Sophomore Justin Moore then hit a ground ball to Silva at short, but his throw home sailed wide allowing Flores to score the game-winning run.
For Gallardo, it was his second ever no-hitter. While at Hamilton High School, he said he struck out 19 batters over seven innings.
Following today's game he was shocked and in disbelief at his accomplishment.
"I'm lost for words right now," he said shortly after the Vikings recorded the game-winning run. "This was really crazy. There are so many different emotions going on inside me right now."
"Compton is a good hitting team," he said. "Going into today's game, I never thought something like this would happen. I threw one (a no-hitter) in high school, but this is completely different."
Gallardo said the thought of the no-hitter didn't really cross his mind until the seventh inning. "I thought, wow, is this really happening?"
LBCC head coach Casey Crook was proud of his ace's effort.
"This is the first no-hitter I have ever been a part of at any level," said Crook. "He was amazing out there today. He had his best stuff. He was a little wild early, but that just shows how tough he is to be able to come back and put together a game like this."
Gallardo was the 2011 South Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year and is 6-4 this season with a 2.34 ERA. He currently ranks second in the state with 98 strikeouts over 77 innings pitched.
LBCC is 17-17 overall and currently sits in fifth place in the SCC standings at 11-9 with just Saturday's 12 pm regular-season finale remaining at Compton (20-15, 12-8 SCC).
Photo by Chris Ruiz