LANCASTER — Paraclete pitcher Andrew Arciga has been flirting with no-hitters all season, throwing a couple of one-hitters this year.
But Arciga finally achieved what he’s been working toward, pitching a perfect game against Crossroads in the Spirits’ 7-0 Gold Coast League victory on Tuesday.
“It feels amazing,” Arciga said. “I got it done and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
It is the first no-hitter and first perfect game in Arciga’s career. He used just 81 pitches (52 strikes) to get through seven frames with eight strikeouts.
“He’s been big for us. He’s just a huge team guy for us and for him to get that perfect game is just huge for us,” Paraclete coach Greg Burnias said.
Arciga said he started to realize he had a perfect game in about the third inning, and he wasn’t willing to let it get away.
“I realized it and then from then on just had to keep it rolling,” he said.
Even when a teammate tried to jinx him by telling him he had a no-hitter, Arciga didn’t give in to the superstition.
“Thank God the jinx didn’t work,” Arciga said. “It was a perfect game, not a no-hitter, so maybe that’s why it didn’t work.”
Arciga was especially thankful to his defense, which made some solid plays for him throughout the game.
“(They) help me a ton,” Arciga said. “I have my third baseman Bryce Wygant going down the line, making a play, I have my catcher making bunts, I have my first baseman stretching for every ball possible. It was a great help.”
Burnias was also pleased with the way the defense played.
“Today was a complete team win,” Burnias said. “Every position had to make plays in order to keep the perfect game intact. Andrew deserves credit for what he did out there but it wouldn’t (have) been possible without some great plays by his defense. In particular, by Walker Fleming, Bryce Wygant and Evan Uccellini.”
The offense gave Arciga a nice cushion to start the game after scoring two runs in each of the first three frames.
“Them jumping on the board right away in that first inning is always a great confidence to know that they’ve got your back through the whole game,” Arciga said. “It was a great start to the game.”
The Spirits (18-6, 9-2 GCL) managed just two hits — one by Coby Roberts and the other by Dominic Ragazzo — but capitalized on nine errors by Crossroads.
Joey Estes had the only RBI for Paraclete, while Ethan Rosario, Bryan Peck and Bryce Wygant all scored two runs apiece. Roberts also scored a run.
Arciga said his three pitches were working for him, especially his off-speed stuff.
“Everything actually fell in really sharp today,” Arciga said. “They weren’t really touching my fastball and I kept them off-balance with my curveball. That was just a great help to have my curveball and my changeup, my two and three pitches, to go to. That way keep them off-balance, not know what’s coming.”
His command was really what set him apart, according to Burnias.
“His control of all three pitches today is what made the differences,” he said, adding, “Andrew showed today why we were confident every time he takes the mound.”
Arciga said he has been doing well this season thanks to the work he has put in with coaches Mike Fulmer and Guy Dees, who have helped him refine his pitches.
“They’ve both been great mentors, great helps,” Arciga said.
The Spirits are currently tied for first place with Windward in the Gold Coast League standings. A win at Crossroads on Thursday would clinch a share of the title. Windward still has three league games to play, including two against Campbell Hall next week.
“It was just a great start to the week to start it off like this, get the ball rolling,” Arciga said. “Hopefully we continue playing good just like this on Thursday and hopefully win ourselves a league championship.”