The Shield Online

Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

Varsity baseball opens district play Tuesday night with a 7:30 p.m. game against LBJ at Nelson Field

Eric+Worden+was+the+winning+pitcher+in+the+second+game+of+a+spring+break+series+between+LBJ+and+Mac+at+Nelson+Field+last+year.+Photo+animation+by+Anne+Reed.
Eric Worden was the winning pitcher in the second game of a spring break series between LBJ and Mac at Nelson Field last year. Photo animation by Anne Reed.

Eric Worden was the winning pitcher in the second game of a spring break series between LBJ and Mac at Nelson Field last year. Photo animation by Anne Reed.

Eric Worden was the winning pitcher in the second game of a spring break series between LBJ and Mac at Nelson Field last year. Photo animation by Anne Reed.


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Two games. Two wins. No hits. No walks.

That’s the essential stat line for senior pitcher Eric Worden two starts into the 2018 season. Worden followed up a no-hitter against Burnet on Feb. 23 in the Fredericksburg tournament with a second no-hitter on Thursday against El Paso Bowie in the AISD tournament.

His second no-hitter was more impressive because the game went the full seven innings.

Worden struck out nine and walked none as the Knights won, 2-0.

Worden also threw a no-hitter against the Austin Maroons on March 25 of last year. Photo by Anne Reed.

Against Burnet in his first start, a 14-0 Knights victory over former Mac coach Russell Houston’s new team, Worden pitched four innings for a run rule-shortened no hitter striking out seven and … again … walking none.

The only hitters to reach base in his 11 innings pitched have reached on Knight fielding errors.

Why has he been so effective in his first two starts?

His teammate, senior center fielder Koehler Vandament said that it’s not just one aspect of Worden’s pitching: it’s all of them.

“He’s just improved overall,” Vandament said. “His velocity on his fastball is up. His offspeed is more dirty, and he just pounds the zone … so many strikes.”

Against Burnet, Worden threw nine first-pitch strikes to the 14 hitters he faced. Against Bowie, he threw 15 first-pitch strikes to the 21 hitters he faced. That’s a first-strike percentage of nearly 70 percent.

Vandament predicted that Worden is going to have a great season on the mound and joked that he might not get many chances for web gems in center field on the days that Worden pitches.

“No one hit the ball hard enough off of Eric for me to have to dive for [any catches],” Vandament said.

While Vandament praised his teammate’s consistent excellence so far, Worden said that his success has been largely due to mental toughness.

“His velocity on his fastball is up. His offspeed is more dirty, and he just pounds the zone … so many strikes.”

— Center fielder Koehler Vandament on teammate Eric Worden's pitching

“I’m just sticking to my game plan and just continually trying to outthink my opponent,” Worden said. “While on the mound, you just have to think no matter who’s up there, they don’t stand a chance against you.”

That may be doubly true when you consider his offensive production in the games he has pitched.

Against Burnet, Worden was 2-for-2 and drove in four runs including a three-run homer in the third inning, his third home run in the Knights’ first two games.

Against El Paso Bowie, Worden drove in the game’s first run on a fifth-inning single that drove in Vandament, who had reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on Cole Ross’s double.

For the young season, Worden, a switchitter who bats third in the lineup, is leading the Knights with in home runs (3), runs batted in (9), batting average (.438), on-base percentage (.609) and slugging percentage (1.000).

Newcomer Cole Ross has been impressive in eight-plus innings thus far in the young season. Photo by Dave Winter.

Ross, a newcomer to the team who has been batting second in the lineup, and Vandament, the team’s leadoff hitter, are just behind Worden’s offensive numbers. Ross is hitting .381 with seven runs batted in, while Vandament is hitting. 368 with 10 runs scored.

Ross pitched the Knights last game, a 8-0 victory over Regents to close the AISD tournament at 2-2 and bring the team’s season record to 4-3. Like Worden, Ross has pitched well, throwing 8 ⅔ innings, striking out nine and not giving up any earned runs.

Vandament, meanwhile, joined Worden on the AISD All-Tournament team for his timely hitting and excellent defense. Vandament made a spectacular diving catch in right-center field to end the first inning of Saturday’s win against Regents.

With two out and no one on, the 3 hole hitter for Regents laced a line drive into the gap in right center and it looked like certain extra bases.

“I saw the ball go up in the air,” said Worden, who was playing shortstop at the time. “I thought for sure it was a hit and then out of nowhere, he dove and caught the ball.”

“I thought for sure it was a hit and then out of nowhere, he dove and caught the ball.”

— Eric Worden on Koehler Vandament's diving catch on Saturday

Vandament raced about 50 feet to his left and in his words “Supermanned it,” sliding another 15 feet stomach first on the wet grass.

The Knights open district play tomorrow with a 7:30 p.m. game at Nelson Field against the LBJ Jaguars (2-6). The Jags defeated El Paso 5-4 on Sunday to close the AISD Tournament on a high note. The Jags and Knights had a common opponent Denison. The Yellow Jackets beat the Jags 8-0 on Friday morning then beat the Knights 5-0 in a noon game on the same day.

The Jags are led offensively by shortstop Harrison Lee who is batting .351. Catcher/first baseman Walker Kohler leads the team with four runs batted in.

Knights Coach Jacob Alvarez had not decided who his starter will be against the Jags.      

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters”

  1. Caroline Cox on March 9th, 2018 1:33 pm

    Go job McCallum knights and keep up the good pitching Eric and good catching Charlie Joe.

    [Reply]

  2. Molly Blackman on March 9th, 2018 1:42 pm

    ERIC WORDEN that kid! amazing. just too good

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Sports

    A Pearl in the pool

  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Sports

    You Can Bet On It

  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Sports

    Down and derby

  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Sports

    Texas Rowing Center wins Central Youth team title

  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Sports

    Medina Valley edges Mac in bizarre bi-district game

  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Photo Galleries

    Macjournalism sports photo porfolio places in Top Program competition

  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Sports

    VIDEO: Can you help a brother out?

  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Sports

    Varsity baseball knocks off top rivals this week

  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Sports

    Running back

  • Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters

    Sports

    Gillespie caps off career as District MVP

The Student News Site of McCallum High School
Worden tosses back-to-back no-hitters