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JEFF D’AMICO, THROWS NO-HITTER

For Immediate Release
September 18, 2003

Camarillo, CA – Often overlooked and considered expendable while he was in Chicago, Jeff D’Amico at last did what was expected of him.  But he did it in the National League and for the Camarillo Quest.   D’Amico pitched his first career no-hitter, shutting down the likes of  Luis Gonzalez, Jeff Kent, and Paul Konerko, and the National Leagues West’s  top team the Clovis Wheat Kings.  D’Amico led his Quest teammates in a victory over the Wheat Kings on Thursday September 18th, by the score of 6-0.
D’Amico, acquired from Oregon last January, struck out 10 and walked none to record the fourth no-hitter in team history.
His gem came on the five year anniversary of Orel Hershiser’s No Hitter where the New River Road Runners, beat the Midland Mud Hens 3-0.
“Every pitcher’s goal is to throw one. I was probably as nervous as I’ve ever been,” said D’Amico, traded for the #1 pick in last year’s MWBL Draft, which turned out to be Rodrigo Lopez.  “Holding that #1 pick in the Mid-West Baseball League draft is a burden – it is like the ring of power in the Lord of the Rings. So Said Jason Kerns the General Manager of the Quest We were really fortunate to get D’Amico in that deal and Carl Crawford.”
“It was one of those special days, and I don’t plan on doing it every time out, but it was a lot of fun.” D’Amico said.
D’Amico used several variations of his fastball and just enough off speed pitches to keep Kent and the other Wheat King hitter’s off-balance throughout the afternoon – and kept the crowd of 40,016 cheering at “My fastball was the flavor of the day,” said D’Amico, who threw it on 81 of his 108 pitches.

Jeff D’Amico
(7-17)  4.48

“The fans were great, they were loud and on their feet. When I got two strikes, it was so loud I couldn’t hear myself think. That made me more nervous.”
Last years teammate Greg Maddux who is now with the Tijuana Traffic, but was with D’Amico last year while both were in Chicago said “That was cool,” who watched on a clubhouse television as Severn played Tijuana at PNC Park. “I really enjoyed it. I was probably more nervous than he was.”

D’Amico said that almost being perfect made his performance more special.  “I’d be just as happy if I had the perfect game, I can’t blame Galarraga for throwing that one away, but he is getting quite old and slow now isn’t he?”
D’Amico retired Sanchez, & Ordonez eight times, striking them each out twice. Jeff Kent hit a long drive to right that Tsuyoshi Shinjo caught near the wall in the fourth.  Rickey Henderson came the closest to getting a hit, but center fielder Carl Crawford raced back and made a leaping one-handed catch on his hard liner to right-center to start the seventh.
“I was just praying that Carl would make a great play and he did,” D’Amico said.
The offense for the Quest came mainly off the bat of veteran third baseman Tony Batista, who went three for four, with a home run and two RBI’s.
“He threw a great game,” Batista said. “He kept pumping them up there.”  Luis Gonzalez hit a routine ground ball to Batista for the final out of the game.
In the 6th, D’Amico faced pinch-hitter Jose Vizciano who grounded one to the first base side, and first baseman Andres Galarraga got too it, but threw it about twelve feet wide of first base where D’Amico was covering.  D’Amico retired 17 straight batters before the Galarraga Error, and he retired 10 straight after that.
“Not only was that unbelievable, it came against the one of the best teams in the National League right now,” Camarillo General Manager Jason Kerns said. “To do it against them makes it more special.”
When Gonzalez pounded the final ground ball, D’Amico (7-16) put his right finger up the air and held it there until Batista’s throw went across the diamond to Lee Stevens who came in as a defensive replacement for Andres Galarraga. Third baseman Tony Batista was the first teammate to reach D’Amico, coming over from third base after the throw and embracing the pitcher on the mound. Catcher Kelly Stinnett hugged D’Amico as his quest teammates surrounded him.  D’Amico tipped his hat twice to the fans, who stood the last two innings to root him on. His wife, Rose, said she chewed her fingernails the last few innings.
“I wouldn’t say it was his best stuff,” Stinnett said. “His slider wasn’t working and he threw a few curves. It was all his fastball.”
The last Quest pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Jeff Fassero against Northridge Quake on September 20th, 1999.   The Quest other two no hitters were thrown by Woody Williams and Mark Gardner.
“He was getting the calls and then he got more aggressive,” Rey Sanchez shortstop for the Wheat Kings said.
Down in Tijuana, former teammate Greg Maddux was charting pitches in the clubhouse when he noticed what D’Amico was doing through the early innings. “I had a hard time watching our game,” Maddux said. “That was sensational.”
Lee Steven gave D’Amico the ball at the end of the game, and told him “He was awesome, totally awesome.”
Tom Glavine (16-10) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings of work, which was more than enough for D’Amico who had the night of his life.

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