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Smyrna's Gray no-hits Bears
Apr 07, 2007 12:00 am
SMYRNA — Sonny Gray made a believe out of Mark Purvis Wednesday night.
On a night when the thermometer dropped into the 40s, the Smyrna right-hander was popping the radar guns in the mid-90s as he no hit Purvis' Mt. Juliet Bears 2-0.
But if his 94-95-mph fastball, which he was still chucking in the seventh inning, dazzled the Bears, it was his 86-87-mph breaking pitches which had the hitters turning in corkscrews.
"He's unbelievable," Purvis said of the junior right-hander, who quarterbacked Smyrna's football team to a state championship last fall and is 3-0 on the mound this spring. "It's the most dominating performance we've seen. We saw [current Vanderbilt star] David Price and he was unbelievable, but Sonny..."
Mt. Juliet drew two walks and hit five fair balls, all grounders. Gray struck out the other 16 as the Bulldogs, playing their District 9-AAA opener, moved to 13-3.
"[His breaking pitch] was unhittable," Purvis said. "Commanded all his pitches. He didn't command his fastball all that well, but with his velocity, it didn't matter. He was behind 1-0, 2-0 and he'd throw a breaking pitch for strikes all night long.
"We tried dragging, we tried everything. We couldn't do anything... There aren't many colleges that could hit him tonight."
The pro scouts were also looking at Mt. Juliet senior right-hander Taylor Hill, who gave up two first-inning runs on a passed ball and a bloop single, one of five hits Smyrna managed off the Vanderbilt-signee who fell to 2-2.
"He threw well enough to win," Purvis said of his ace. "He didn't have his A game. He wasn't as dominating as he usually is."
Hill walked three and struck out seven in six innings.
Mt. Juliet will host Siegel on Friday in a game moved up to 2 p.m. due to the chilly temperatures forecast for the evening.