No Man’s Land: Carlsbad Pitchers Have Thrown 5 No Hitters This Season
*photo courtesy Matthew Asher, Carlsbad Current-Argus
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘No Man’s Land’. Maybe we should consider changing it to ‘No (cave)Man’s Land’. The Carlsbad High School Cavemen pitching staff has thrown five no-hitters this baseball season! Five.
Kadyn Bratcher and Jacob Echavarria had a 5-inning combined no-hitter in a 13-1 win over Lovington on May 15th. Then one week later, Nolan Perry threw a no-no in a 10-0 win against Goddard.
To start the month of June, Carlsbad picked up no-hitters #3 and #4 on the same day. In a doubleheader against Clovis on June 1, Echavarria had a 5-inning no hitter in a 10-0 win and Perry and Ashton Whiteaker threw a combined no-hitter in a 12-0 victory that same day. Recently, on June 11th against Clovis, Grant Harvill and Kadyn Bratcher combined for Carlsbad’s 5th no-hitter of the season. (Note: Carlsbad had a 31-inning no-hit streak against Clovis dating back to two years ago.)
“I’ve never had a season like this,” said Carlsbad head coach Alan Edmonson. “The most no-hitters I’ve had in a season is two. This is definitely something different.”
Edmonson, in his fourth season with the Cavemen, says his pitching staff has a variety of styles and arms. Nolan Perry is a 6’1” junior. “Perry is a power guy for us,” Edmonson described. “His fastball can get up to 90, he’s got more velocity than the others. He’s a strikeout kind of pitcher.”
Jacob Echavarria, Ashton Whiteaker, and Kadyn Bratcher are all seniors. “Echavarria and Whiteaker, those guys are more strike throwers to keep ball in the zone and change speeds a lot to mix it up. Bratcher is a knuckleballer. Harvill, a junior, is a guy who comes from the left side. He’ll mix up looks for you also.”
It will be all hands (and arms) on deck for Edmonson and the Cavemen this weekend. Carlsbad is currently the district runner-up and would need an at-large bid to get into the postseason. Only the district champions are guaranteed a spot in the postseason bracket. “We will finish as district runner up,” said Edmonson. “I think the last at-large spot will be between us, Centennial and Volcano Vista.”
Carlsbad will finish up the regular season at home on Friday with a doubleheader against Hobbs. “If we take one game from Hobbs, we should get in,” he said. The Cavemen were swept by the Eagles earlier this season, 10-8 and 4-2.
“We dropped quite a few games we probably shouldn’t have lost,” said Edmonson. “We made some mistakes because of our lack of experience. We haven‘t put ourselves in a good position right now, but if we get in, we’ve got as good of a chance as anybody.”
Regardless of Friday’s outcome, it’s clear Edmonson will have some strong arms in the coming years, too. “We’ve got a deep pitching staff moving forward with Perry and Harvill returning, as well as some sophomores with potential. In the coming years, we might have the deepest pitching staff I’ve ever had.”