San Luis Obispo, Calif. – When the lineup first went out to the public on the @OCRiptide Twitter account, Evan Vasiliou (UCI) was set to start. About 40 minutes later, 9 minutes before first pitch, the clarification went out. The man himself, Noah Carabajal, a right-hander from Long Beach State, only found out he would, in fact, be the one on the bump for the Riptide 9:30 that morning.
“They didn’t really give me a game plan,” said Noah. “It was pretty much, ‘Hey, you’re gonna start and you’re just gonna go out there and do your thing; we don’t have a plan for you. We just want you to go out and get strikes and just dominate. Do what you do best.’”
When asked for his thoughts on the change, Moe Geoghegan, founder and General Manager of the Riptide, said he and the rest of the Riptide team decided to give Noah a start after playing him in relief 3 times already this season. In those 3 relief appearances, he posted a 0.00 ERA in 2.2 innings, giving up 2 hits, striking out 3, and walking 4. Now it was time for him to start.
And in a unique environment: Sinsheimer Park, home of the San Luis Obispo Blues. The Blues fans are a notoriously rowdy home crowd and Wednesday was no different. The stadium was packed and loud. Geoghegan remarked, “Some guys crumble under the pressure and some guys rise to the occasion. And Noah rose to the occasion.”
Talking to Noah, however, you would never know anything about that. Reflecting on his outing, he was relaxed and confident as ever. Five no-hit innings in a game he didn’t know he’d even be starting until the morning of and he talked about it like any other game.
Of the atmosphere, Noah had this to say, “Yeah, the fans were just… You know, we got the talk that they might hassle us a little bit, but we kind of shut ‘em up.”
After 5 stellar innings, Carson Case (Nevada) entered in relief in the 6th. He walked 3 and hit one batter in 1.2 innings of work, but kept the no-hitter intact. He left the game with 2 outs and 2 runners on via the walk.
The next 0.2 innings went to Trevor Meisner (Utah Tech).
“I’ve been pitching pretty good, but this appearance meant a little more to me,” said Trevor. “I think I’ll remember that for probably the rest of my life. Gotta come in, runners on base, and get out of an inning and help the team out. And then not give up a hit essentially.” Going in, he knew exactly what his job was. “It added a little bit of stress but, I mean, it was good stress.”
With 1 out in the 8th and a runner on second, Daniel Naughton (Gonzaga) entered the game and ended up closing the whole thing out.
“Well, the funny thing is that I actually had no clue that we even had a no-hitter going,” Daniel said. “I was like, ‘What? Why is everybody so happy right now?’ I just thought that we won the game and I was stoked about that, but I really didn’t know that we had thrown a no-hitter until after we had shaken hands and everything and gone out to the postgame meeting and Coach Tim said, ‘Congrats on the no-hitter.’ And I was like, ‘Oh! Oh my gosh!’ So that totally blew my mind. But yeah. After that, it felt great.”
The final out and celebration from the first no hitter in Riptide history. Huge shoutout to pitchers Noah Carabajal (@LBDirtbags) @CarsonCase4 (@NevadaBaseball) @trevmize9 (@UtahTech_BASE) and @DanielNaughto19 (@ZagBaseball) on the incredible feat.#OCRiptidefamily #CCLBaseball pic.twitter.com/hpNhfBvOWI
— OC Riptide Baseball (@ocriptide) June 30, 2022