T.J. Renda threw a no-hitter and Richard Amion’s inside-the-park grand slam led Alabama State to a 14-0 win over Chicago State in the season opener for both teams Friday night at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.
Renda threw 123 pitches, 83 for strikes. He walked one, hit one batter and struck out a career-high 15. He faced just two batters over the minimum as no Chicago State player reached second base. Renda struck out the side in the fifth and in the ninth, fanning Mattingly Romanin for the final out.
“Throughout the game, I knew it was going pretty well,” Renda said. “As the game progressed, my adrenaline kept pumping more and more and I knew I had it.”
Renda got the classic silent treatment in the dugout from his teammates as the game progressed.
“No one really talked to me in the dugout; I had to sit by myself,” Renda said. “They kind of ignored me. When I went out there, I just didn’t hear anything. I just focused on (catcher Richard Gonzalez’) glove.”
The no-hitter capped off a strong season-opening performance by the Hornets, who gave head coach Mervyl Melendez his 400th career win.
“He was amazing tonight,” Melendez said. “He threw three pitches for strikes. He was locating very well. The key for him was he got stronger as the game went on. I’m very happy for him for the performance that he had on the mound tonight.”
Amion broke open a 6-0 game in the sixth with an inside-the-park grand slam to right center field, the first of his career. Amion also tripled and drove home a run on his career-high 5 RBI night as the Hornets had 14 hits, seven of them for extra bases.