Walking up to the mound on Sunday afternoon, pitcher Will Langford didn’t expect that he would be writing baseball history for Queen’s.
While thoughts of a no-hitter raced throughout his mind during the game, he never really believed to be a realistic possibility.
Langford proved himself wrong.
The Gaels headed into Sunday’s double-header at their hometown Megaffin Park against the Waterloo Warriors after splitting a two-game home series with U of T the day before. Against the Varsity Blues, Queen’s split the games with a 3-1 win and a 9-2 loss.
After taking a narrow 1-0 lead in the first inning, Langford wouldn’t need anything else from his teammates in terms of offensive support. Throughout the game, the pitcher simply kept his cool and maintained his focus. But as innings two, three, four and five passed, a question lingered in the back of his mind: “Could I really pitch a no-hitter?”
“I knew the whole time that I had a no-hitter going,” Langford said. “It was probably the sixth inning when I thought it might actually happen.”
Although there’s been a lot of focus on himself, Langford said his historical game had much to do with his teammates’ defensive play. With the prospect of a no-hitter becoming more and more of a reasonable possibility, they scrambled with each of their opponents’ at-bat to keep the streak going.
He mentioned that he’s proud of his teammates stating, “[This] doesn’t happen without the work we all put in, both coaches and players.”
With 13 total strikeouts to his name, Langford continued to shutdown the Warriors’ batters. By the end of the game, the furthest base a Waterloo player made it was to second.
With just one last out to record, it was fitting that the second-year Kinesiology student threw his final strikeout. With that, Langford became the first Queen’s pitcher in the baseball program’s history to throw a no-hitter.
“It was a cool feeling to strike out the last batter of the game and have the whole team dogpile me,” Langford said of the ensuing moments after the game ended. “It felt like it was as much for [my teammates] as it was for me, especially since the game was 1-0.”
He said the crowd was feeling the excitement as well.
“I think [the fans] really became aware that I had achieved something special when the whole team ran on to the field after the last out.”
With all the attention the no-hitter has garnered, the pitcher still has his sights on what’s important — namely, the rest of the season.
“It’s just another win for us and we have to move on and finish our season strong as we have a chance to have the best season in
Queen’s baseball history,” Langford said. That focus is more important than the no-hitter, he continued.
The Gaels currently sit in fifth place in the OUA standings with 10 points, just six points behind the leader Brock, who they play next weekend.
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