"It was pretty taxing," Gibson said of going the distance for the first time as a pro. "You've got nine guys in each lineup that can hurt you. You've got to get a lot more ground balls and a lot of quick outs. I got a lot of defensive help today, had a lot of great plays behind me."
Gibson helped himself as well by promptly picking Galloway off first base. Though he then walked Robert Taylor, Gibson induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Chris Wade.
Gibson allowed one more batter to reach when he plunked Kevin Matthison to start the bottom of the seventh, but the Hammerhead was erased when Daniel Pertusati grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
The right-hander out of Missouri needed only 91 pitches thanks to his ability to pitch to contact and the sure-handed play of his defense.
"With how easy it is to get a hit with a metal bat [in college], you have to try to miss bats a little more often," the 2009 All-Big 12 selection said, adding that against wooden bats, "You just don't have to be as perfect. It's a little bit of an advantage to pitchers where you can get away with mistakes."
Gibson's two-seamer led to 16 ground-ball outs and permitted him to stick almost entirely to his fastball.
"I think my fastball command was about as good as it's been all year," Gibson said. "I really didn't have to throw a lot of offspeed pitches. I got a lot of outs with my fastball and had a lot of sink on my two-seamers that led to two, three, four, five pitches and then a ground ball."
The Miracle batters were only able to score two runs despite pounding out 10 hits against Hammerheads pitching, but those two were one more than necessary. Evan Bigley's first-inning single scored Chris Cates to give Gibson the only support he would need. Jonathan Goncalves added an RBI single in the fifth for the other run.
After allowing two home runs and not getting through four innings in his first professional start on April 8, Gibson put together a string of three good starts prior to Thursday's gem. Despite his improved form, he knows he still has a lot to improve on to climb the ladder to the Majors.
"I've been working on a couple of mechanical things the last couple of weeks," Gibson said. "I need to make sure my feet are on the ground and make sure my delivery is smoothed out. My delivery felt really good today, but I can always make it better.
"I need to make sure all my offspeed pitches are sharp," he added. "There's not going to be many games where I can overpower anyone. My fastball is going to be 89 to 93 [mph], sitting at 91."
There may not be many games where Gibson can overpower his opposition, but for one day his fastball was dominant enough to produce one of the finest efforts of the young season. It came just hours after Chris Tillman threw the first Minor League no-hitter of the season for Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday night.
Though Gibson couldn't match the feat of the Orioles prospect, he's still planning to celebrate by recognizing the defense that had such a big role in his memorable afternoon.
"I'll probably buy my position players lunch."