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Spanish Fork • Maple Mountain pitcher Arik Mack cannot remember how many times he has taken a no-hitter into the late innings of a game only to see it vanish with a blooper off the end of the bat or an infield single.
He doesn't think about such things Tuesday, and his teammates weren't about to remind him.
So it shouldn't be that hard to believe that Mack did not know the significance of what happened when he got Zac Lundell to ground out to end the game.
The senior lefty, who is BYU bound next year, threw the first no-hitter of his career, pitching the Golden Eagles to a 2-1 win over Salem Hills on Tuesday afternoon.
"I've had so many one-hitters and two-hitters," Mack said. "I didn't even know I threw a no-hitter until after the game when we were running sprints. I was surprised. It feels good. I have a good feeling right now."
How good was Mack? He clearly didn't have his best stuff. He walked five and balked in a run, but he still struck out 11 and held one of Class 4A's top team's hitless.
"I told Arik to just do what you do," Maple Mountain coach Gary Miner said. "Trust who you are and what you are. Trust that your teammates are going to be behind you, and that's how the wins are going to come."
Mack had just two close calls and both came off the bat of Taylor Snyder, who flew out near the warning track in the fourth inning and hit a ball down the third-base line. But Maple Mountain third baseman Kade Poulsen made a backhanded stop from his knees, got to his feet and fired to first. His throw appeared to be in time to get Snyder, but it skipped past the first baseman. It was ruled an error, leaving Mack's no-no still intact.
Maple Mountain scored a run in the third on a wild pitch, but the Skyhawks got it back when Mack balked in a run in the sixth.
The winner scored in the bottom half of the inning when K.J. Hall walked and stole second. He scored when Poulsen doubled in the gap off Maple Mountain starter Colton Hill, who was brilliant in his own right. He gave up just three hits.
Mack's no-hitter came at the perfect time. The win gave the Golden Eagles (9-0) a game lead over Salem Hills (8-1) in Region 8. The two teams will have a rematch on Thursday.