Welcome to the Metro State University history book, Cade Crader.
The right-hander was picture perfect Saturday afternoon in a 13-0 win over CSU-Pueblo at Regency Athletic Complex in Denver. Crader faced 27 batters — the minimum against a visiting team in nine innings — while striking out 10 and allowing zero hits and zero walks. It is believed to be the first perfect game in Roadrunners history, according to the school.
Big-time player💪😤🔥#GetRowdy🔴🔵 pic.twitter.com/JGLLGkdiL9
— MSU Denver Athletics (@MSUDenverSports) March 28, 2021
The performance even landed the 6-foot-3 senior on ESPN’s SportsCenter’s Top 10.
“It’s really exciting, I’ve never experienced something like this before,” Crader said Sunday after MSU-Denver’s 25-4 win over Colorado Christian. “Obviously, I’m just lucky and blessed to have an outing like that.”
It was his first no-hitter on any level of baseball, he said.
Crader, a former standout at Grandview High School in Aurora, said he tried to continue to banter and joke with his teammates in the MSU Denver dugout to keep a light and loose atmosphere. But as the game progressed, it became more difficult.
“When you know it’s looming in your future, you get caught up and in your head, so I was just doing my very best to avoid that,” he said. “Everyone else was trying to stay quiet and avoid me and not talk to me, but I was trying to do the exact opposite.”
Crader improved to 4-0 on the year with a 2.05 ERA in five starts. He has reached double-digits in strikeouts in four of the five outings and on the season he has 51 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings.
MSU Denver, ranked No. 18 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division II poll, continued its scorching start to the season, winning three of its four games this weekend and improving to 18-2 on the year.
“I think it’s a lot easier to have these good starts and win games when everyone can work off each other and rely on each other and trust each other,” Crader said. “… Since we have that, it’s given us the opportunity to tie everything together and turn the start of the season into what it’s been so far.”
The ‘Runners next have a four-game series at home against UC-Colorado Springs April 1-3.
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