Reading pitcher goes all Homer Bailey with no-no

Posted at 10:58 AM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 10:58:38-04

READING, Ohio — JD Vanover knew his teammates were getting antsy Wednesday afternoon.

But the Reading senior right-handed pitcher kept his focus. He maintained faith in his fastball and curve in particular.

Vanover threw a seven-inning no-hitter in the Blue Devils’ 5-1 win over host Wyoming in a Cincinnati Hills League baseball game. Reading (13-3, 8-1) is tied with Taylor for first place in the CHL entering Thursday afternoon.

“I was constantly getting support from my teammates and coaches,” Vanover said Thursday morning.

Vanover allowed just one walk and struck out 10 on Wednesday. Reading made three errors on routine grounders that led to a run. There were no baserunners until one out in the sixth.

“He was changing speeds real well,” Reading coach Pete Muehlenkamp said. “He’s gotten better with a lot strikeouts.”

Muehlekamp has been the Reading coach for the past 18 years and can’t remember another seven-inning no-hitter during his tenure. Reading senior Logan Barron threw a five-inning no-hitter earlier this spring. Barron and Vanover have been among the standouts for the Blue Devils this spring.

Barron is hitting .500 with seven doubles, two triples, two home runs, 21 RBI and eight stolen bases. He also has 42 strikeouts with a 0.44 ERA on the mound.

Vanover, who plans to be an airplane technician after high school, says he couldn’t get his change-up going during warm-ups, but felt good once the game started. He hit the outside corner effectively with his curve.

He’s also hitting .455 with 25 hits, four doubles, two home runs, 19 RBI and six stolen bases, according to the CHL site. He’s also had a 1.57 ERA on the mound.

Reading Athletic Director Nick Lunsford said the accomplishment couldn’t happen to a better student-athlete. Vanover also played football starting his junior year.

“He’s a good student,” Lunsford said. “He loves to fish and be outdoors. He’s just a super kid.”

After Vanover's 98th pitch and the no-hitter in the books, Vanover was mobbed by his teammates.

“They were running after me and hugging me and asking, ‘Did you know you have a no-hitter?’” Vanover said.

Reading plays host to Wyoming Friday before playing New Richmond at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the Skyline Chili Reds Futures High School Showcase.