By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a history making afternoon Saturday for Division III Widener senior righthander Rick Kazigian as he no-hit Arcadia in the second game of a doubleheader, winning the contest 4-0.
Kazigian struck out six over his seven no-hit innings (collegiate doubleheaders go seven innings) and he finished things up in a tidy one hour and ten minutes.
Despite the dominant performance, the West Chester native and Malvern Prep product says he wasn’t locked in at the start.
“My first two innings I wasn’t sharp at all. I walked the first guy (in the first inning) and I had him 0-2 too, which was really upsetting. And then I kind of figured something out in the third inning. I was actually turning too much when I came off with my leg kick and that was causing me to open up my whole body and just become wild with everything. So once I closed off a little bit more, (I) started settling in, in the 3rd. Two, three innings after that I started feeling like there was a chance.”
After that lead-off walk to start the game, Kazigian retired the final 21 batters he faced. In that seventh and final inning, he started things off by falling behind the leadoff hitter three balls and a strike.
“I told myself at that point, even though I walked someone already, I wasn’t going to walk someone in the 7th inning, especially in a close game So I was forced to throw a fastball there and luckily he got jammed – it almost blooped in actually, almost fell between our shortstop, 3rd baseman and left fielder. (Shortstop) Matt Hone made a really nice play (catching the pop-up).”
The second out came on a ground ball to second. Then with history on the line, he faced the Arcadia catcher.
“I had been watching him all week and once I got to him I was pretty confidant it was going to happen because I knew how to pitch him. I got 1-2 to him and threw him a slider in the dirt and he went chasing and after that it was a little bit of a blur.”
Listen to KYW’s Matt Leon’s interview with Rick Kazigian:
Kazigian says he threw almost exclusively fastballs and sliders against Arcadia. The win improved him to 4-2 on the season – the four victories have him tied for second in the Commonwealth Conference. And while there is still a lot of baseball for Kazigian and the rest of the 17-11 Pride to play, he says he will never forget that special day in Chester.
“It was definitely something I’ll take with me for the rest of my life . . . pretty special.”