The New Orleans AAABA franchise has produced a number of great individuals over the years, as evidenced by the nearly two dozen former players who have reached the majors.
But the Boosters aren’t about the individual.
They never have been.
And they weren’t on Monday.
So when manager Bill Babin pulled starting pitcher Brent Bonvillain from the game when he was just three outs away from a no-hitter, no one on the New Orleans team gave it a second thought.
“I know it’s nice to throw a no-hitter for a kid, but this is all about team, and that’s the way he feels, so he had no problem with it,” Babin said.
Turns out, it didn’t matter, as reliever John DeArmond stepped in and pitched a perfect inning as New Orleans opened its quest for a 14th AAABA Tournament title with a 12-0 victory over Philadelphia at Fichtner Field that was shortened to seven innings by the mercy rule.
It was just the seventh no-hitter thrown in the 67-year history of the tournament, but Bonvillain was more interested in talking about what his team did than how well he pitched.
“I was feeling pretty good, but the team as a whole was just ecstatic all game,” he said. “The intensity in the dugout was great. We swung it real well, as y’all could tell.”
Bonvillain struck out eight and walked two. Philadelphia’s Ian Moyer was the only Philly Bandit to reach scoring position, as he reached on a two-base error by New Orleans third baseman Joe Broussard in the third.
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