While the California baseball team was locked in a battle with No. 9 Oregon on Friday night, the crown jewel of the Bears' 2013 signing class was a little too busy to check out the third-ever night game at Evans Diamond.
As Cal fell, 3-2, to the Ducks, Vacaville (Calif.) Will C. Wood righty Trevin Haseltine struck out 10 Fairfield (Calif.) Armijo hitters en route to his first ever no-hitter, as the Wildcats cruised to an 11-0, five-inning romp.
"It was awesome," Haseltine said. "It was great. I started off a little shaky, but in the later innings, I started to dial it in."
After being staked to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first, Haseltine dealt two free passes in the bottom of the frame before settling in.
"I kind of felt a little pressure, but then I started to dial it in, like I said, so there weren't any hits, just a few walks," Haseltine said.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder got stronger as the game went on, using a devastating change up off of his 91-93 mph fastball to keep Armijo hitters off balance.
"It's funny, because you try not to really think about it," Haseltine said. "But, it's something you can't really avoid. I would probably say that in the fourth inning, I realized that we had the chance to 10-run these guys and hopefully have the chance to throw the no-hitter."
Haseltine walked his third batter in the third, but was perfect after that, and also helped his own cause at the plate, going 1-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs and a double. As the game wore on, Wood got three more runs in the top of the fourth. By that point, Haseltine was cruising, and he set down the final six batters in order -- all on strikeouts, as his offense got two more runs in the top of the fifth.
"My last two innings, I started feeling a lot better," Haseltine said. "I was feeling pretty good. My pitch count wasn't that high. I probably was somewhere around 65 or 70 pitches."
Because of the 10-run mercy rule, Haseltine wasn't able to go for the full, seven-inning no-no, and his team's reaction after the final out reflected that.
"It was more subtle than I expected," Haseltine laughed. "I got a lot of congratulations and stuff after the game, but because it wasn't a full seven, that's maybe why it wasn't so big of a deal, but it was still a good thing, and a blessing. Hopefully, I can get that opportunity again. It was the first (no-hitter) in my life. No Little League no-hitters, nothing else. This was the first time."
While the no-no was the first in Haseltine's life, he's been nearly unhittable during the entire course of the season. He's struck out more hitters (56) than he's allowed to reach base, surrendering just 11 hits and 13 walks. Haseltine is 5-1 in seven starts with a miniscule 0.60 ERA, striking out 41% of opposing hitters while holding them to a .092 batting average.
Grading out as a perfect 10 from PerfectGameUSA, Haseltine has been the source of a rising din of draft buzz thanks to his stellar senior season, but, he said, it will take quite a bit for him to eschew a Cal education and sign with a Major League franchise.
"It's how much I'm worth; I don't want to just say a number, that I'm better than that or that I'm worse than that," Haseltine said. "It's something that I would have to go over with my family and see where we're at. It will definitely have to be a lot, because Cal is Cal. It's a great education, and I don't want to pass that opportunity up."
One of the main reasons Haseltine signed with the Bears is pitching coach Mike Neu, and getting to learn from the former big leaguer for three years is a big consideration.
"He's one of the big factors in why I ended up choosing Cal, along with the other great coaches," Haseltine said. "Me and Mike Neu, we're great family friends, and I've been fortunate enough to know his family, and he knows mine, as well. I've known him probably for the past four or five years, now."
For Haseltine, Cal and Neu are the known quantity, and he feels comfortable in Berkeley and with the coaching staff.
"There's no secrets behind it; they're definitely going to develop me as a player and develop a great team," Haseltine said. "We have such a great class coming in, and it's something that I'm really looking forward to, and I don't want to lose that."
Haseltine's recruiting class includes former Stanford commit Daulton Jefferies, Granite Bay (Calif.) outfielder Aaron Knapp (the younger brother of junior catcher Andrew Knapp and son of former Bears catcher Mike Knapp), Union City (Calif.) Logan righty Alex Martinez (1-3 with a 2.85 ERA, two complete games, 31 strikeouts in 27.0 innings, .153 BAA), hard-hitting Moraga (Calif.) Campolindo infielder Robbie Tenerowicz, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle righty Andrew Buckley, 6-foot-6 San Diego Cathedral Catholic hurler Alex Schick and top catcher John Riley (.357, 6 doubles, 3 HR, 11 RBI for San Jose Willow Glen).
After his big effort on Friday, Haseltine said he intends to pay a visit to the Bears on Saturday, in time for the 6 p.m. tilt against Oregon, which will be Cal's fourth game under the lights.
"Oh, awesome, awesome," Haseltine said of the night-time experience at Evans Diamond. "I'll try to make it out."
Cal Signee Tosses No-Hitter
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