SOUTH KINGSTOWN—When you’re a pitcher, sometimes there are days when you’re just feeling it.
Days when you warm up before the game and you know you’ve got everything working.
Wednesday at Old Mountain Field was not one of those days for South Kingstown senior Jeremy Swan.
“I was in the bullpen for probably 45 minutes before the game telling our pitching coach that today was probably going to be awful,” Swan said. “I had nothing.”
If Wednesday’s game was nothing the rest of Division I is in trouble if Swan takes the mound with something at any point this season.
All the senior left-hander did was hold previously unbeaten East Greenwich scoreless in a 1-0 Rebel victory.
“I got out there and kind of figured it out,” Swan said. “The team made the plays behind me, all that I can ask them to do, and it was awesome.”
South got its one run in the bottom of the second thanks to some small ball after Nathan Lessard drew a walk to start the inning.
Zach Tombs followed with a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt and Cameron Meystre drilled a single to give the Rebels runners at first and third.
Lessard then scored what would prove to be the only run of the game on a fielder’s choice from Brad Douglas.
As for Swan, he set down the first eight batters he faced Wednesday before finally allowing a two-out walk to Mike Massella in the third but got out of the inning one batter later thanks to an adventurous stop at first from senior Nate Vandemoer.
In the fourth Swan quickly recorded the first two outs but then appeared to lose the no-hitter when EG’s Jeremy Streich hit a double off the end of his bat down the left field line.
SK appealed that Streich didn’t touch first while rounding the base and the umpire agreed, taking a hit away from Streich and keeping the no-no intact.
“I saw him miss first base,” SK coach Jim Sauro said.
The following inning Swan worked his way into a jam, striking out Ryan Gavin to start but then walking Nolan Cooney and hitting Jake Moss to put two runners on with one out.
Swan bounced back by striking out Kyle Matus but then walked Massella for the second time to load the bases.
The Avengers could not take advantage though, as Swan eventually won a long battle with Alex Cleary by getting him to hit a ground ball back to the mound.
After the game Swan admitted that he was aware the no-hitter was intact heading into the sixth.
“I try not to focus on that but I knew it was there,” he said. “It’s never fun to give up a no-hitter because I’ve been in this situation a few times.”
EG’s Kyle Palmer reached on an error to start sixth and then it finally happened.
David Hopkins – one of the best hitters in the state – broke up Swan’s bid by hitting a ground ball just past the diving attempt of SK shortstop Cameron Meystre.
Swan, however, would have the last laugh.
Facing 4-5-6 in the Avengers’ order Swan flat out overpowered Gavin, Cooney and Moss, striking all three out in impressive fashion.
“We did a little something different with [Swam] this week,” Sauro said. “We backed off on his bullpen work and I think he had a little more zip on his fastball and we worked his curveball a little more [Wednesday] than we have in the past.”
In the top of the seventh Swan stuck out pinch-hitter Dan Josloff to start the inning, got Matus to ground out to second and induced a fly out to center from Massella to end the game.
In his complete-game effort Swan walked three, hit one and struck out seven while allowing the one hit.
The Rebels (3-1, 3-1 Division I-South) will travel to Aquidneck Island today for a 3 p.m. start at Middletown and wrap up the week with a non-league game Saturday at 6 p.m. against East Catholic at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn.