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Sky Sox's Hynick tosses perfect game

Gem by Rockies prospect is ninth in Pacific Coast League history
July 1, 2009
Brandon Hynick wasn't sure what to expect. He knew he was nearing a perfect game, but how would his teammates react?

Would they treat it like any other win?

Would they storm the field like they do in the Major Leagues?

Would something else happen he was unaware of?

"It was just like they do it in the big leagues," the Colorado Springs right-hander said.

When right fielder Dan Ortmeier settled under a fly ball to record the final out and a sense of relief settled over Hynick on Tuesday night, teammates spilled out of the dugout and mobbed the 24-year-old after the Sky Sox blanked the Portland Beavers, 2-0.

"I'm just thinking of things that would be better than this and, obviously, [a World Series] is everybody's goal," Hynick said. "Individual games, everybody's goal is to throw a perfect game, but career goal or season goal is to ultimately get to the big leagues and win a World Series."

Hynick threw the ninth perfect game in Pacific Coast League history and the first since June 25, 2007. The seven-inning gem was the Sky Sox's first no-hitter since Franklin Morales, Chris George, Matt Daley and Steven Register combined to beat Albuquerque on May 11, 2008.

Because everything unfolded so quickly, the 2006 eighth-round pick couldn't really describe what it's like. Amid the celebration and the interviews, he was still trying to find time to call his parents.

"I was really worried about just winning the game," Hynick said. "Honestly, if I would have given up a hit in that last inning, I would have been like, 'I've got to go win this ballgame.' That was my main concern, getting a win for my team."

The Ohio native realized he had a perfect game early on. He was able to keep his fastball down in the zone and his changeup, cutter and curve -- a pitch that's been inconsistent all season -- felt good. Hynick, who improved to 7-5 with a 3.50 ERA, struck out six and had the help of a few key defensive plays late in the game.

To open the seventh, there was an in-between hop to third baseman Jeff Baker. Then, second baseman Eric Young made a sliding stop on what Hynick thought was a sure base hit.

"Once the ball came off the bat in the hole for E.Y., I thought it was a hit, for sure," Hynick said. "I saw him get over there and he's so quick. I shouldn't have thought that off the bat with E.Y. being over there. He made a great play."

The closest Hynick has come to perfection is a five-inning no-hitter at North Royalton High School; he lost a perfect game with a walk in the fifth in a game that was shortened due to the 10-run rule.

Throughout the season there have been bright moments, including a two-hitter over seven innings on April 18 and a seven-inning one-hitter on May 23. But Hynick -- the Pitcher of the Year in the Pioneer League in 2006 and the California League in 2007 -- admitted he's spent the season searching for consistency.

"It's been a learning process," he said. "I started off a little rough and we've had a ton of veteran leadership throughout the year. I've learned a lot from them and, as of now, I've just got to keep getting better and keep improving and see where that takes me."

Even after his perfect outing there is more for Hynick to work on, most notably a cutter he is still developing. But with more performances like this, a call from Colorado could be coming.

First, though, he would like his phone to stop ringing long enough to call his parents.

Mason Kelley is a contributor to