Before Columbus High pitcher Will Bice took the mound for his final inning of work on Monday, he had no idea he was tossing a no-hitter.
When he found out, there was only one thing on his mind.
“Get the last three outs,” he said. “I wasn’t (nervous). I just knew I had to go do my job and throw strikes.”
Which he did.
In six innings of work in an 11-0 win over Central, only two runners reached base against Bice, one via walk and one via an error. Bice threw just 65 pitches and struck out seven batters to complete the no-hitter.
It was the first no-no of Bice’s life and the first for Columbus in 10 years, Bice said.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “You think of all the great pitchers here. To be the one to do that is special.”
Of course, the performance may not have been complete without the help of his team behind him, Bice said. He singled out Hunter Swilling, who made a barehanded play on a ball that had kicked off of Bice’s glove.
“That’s the best part of our team this year, the defense,” Bice said. “If we want to go far, the defense has to be big for us.”
Adding to the performance was the fact that Bice had just come off a minor injury to his back the week before. It was his first start since tweaking it in practice.
“I didn’t think I would go out there and throw like that,” he said.
Columbus’ Oliver gets win No. 200
Columbus girls soccer coach Rusty Oliver picked up his 200th win as a head coach, all coming with the Lady Blue Devils.
Those wins came over the span of 15 years with the program.
“I’m just proud of the fact that I’ve been in the same position for this long of a time,” he said. “At all levels of sports, you have coaches coming and going, so that’s one thing I’m proud of.”
Oliver said that when he came in, the Columbus soccer program could be described as “lower tier.” Now, it’s a program gaining statewide recognition.
The Lady Blue Devils (8-1, 4-0) is ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA and among the top 15 of all classifications in the state of Georgia.
The team is coming off a state championship appearance last season, the first girls team out of the city to do so.
“It really just speaks volumes to what I had envisioned 15 years ago, what I wanted to build,” he said. “Luckily, we’ve had some talented players who bought into the philosophy.”
He said he’s proud of the accomplishment both personally and for the school.
“Being this type of program is special for these girls,” he said. “It’s something they’ll remember for a long time.”
Carver’s Brown visiting Auburn
Carver High football standout Mekhi Brown announced via Twitter that he would be taking an official visit to Auburn on March 30. It will be his first recruiting visit of the year.
Brown, a sophomore who just finished his second season with the Tigers, already has offers from Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee, among others.
Dell McGee, who coached Brown at Carver, recently took a position on Auburn University’s support staff.
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571; Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.