SHARONVILLE, Ohio — When Grayson Hamilton took the mound Wednesday afternoon at Princeton High School, it felt like any other league game. Little did the Lakota East senior right-handed pitcher know he would throw a perfect game in the Thunderhawks’ 8-0 win over the Vikings.
“It felt unreal,” Hamilton told WCPO Wednesday night. “It was like, ‘Did this really happen?’”
Hamilton (5-1), an Ohio Dominican signee, struck out 12 batters on 94 pitches Wednesday. He threw 58 pitches through five innings and knew by the fourth inning the final few frames could be special.
He earned the game’s final out on a called third strike on a fastball, after which he was joyfully mobbed by his teammates on the field.
“The fastball was the go-to (pitch),” Hamilton said. “The curveball was the punch-out pitch.”
Lakota East officials were still checking if the program had ever seen another perfect game. Either way, it's a day the Hamilton family won't soon forget.
“I actually think he threw the ball harder in the seventh than when he started,” said Lakota East coach Ray Hamilton, who is Grayson’s father.
Wednesday was the 11th no-hitter in Lakota East baseball program history, the second in Grayson Hamilton's career and the second in a row for Lakota East (12-2). Sophomore Andrew Bachman (four innings) and senior Jake Fisher (three innings) combined for a no-hitter in a 10-0 win over visiting Princeton on Tuesday.
“I like the bond that we have,” Grayson Hamilton said. “We have grown up playing with each other. The team chemistry is really good, and it helps with a lot.”
Lakota East next plays host to Sycamore at 5 p.m. Monday.