May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Irvine Valley College pitcher Justin Dunham throws first no-hitter in program history

Justin Dunham of IVC (left) threw a no-hitter Monday and the catcher was Ryan Santa Cruz out of Woodbridge High. (Photos courtesy IVC Athletics)

Irvine Valley’s baseball team has had an exceptional season so far in 2019.

It became even a little more special Monday afternoon at home.

Sophomore pitcher Justin Dunham threw the first no-hitter in program history. The 6-3 right-hander was dominant in blanking Mt. San Jacinto, 7-0.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

Dunham (San Juan Hills High) needed just over 100 pitches to make it happen. He faced 30 batters on the day. The catcher was Ryan Santa Cruz from Woodbridge High.

“Justin has put in so much work since he got here,” Irvine Valley coach Kent Madole said. “I am so proud of him and happy for our guys. This was a pretty fun day.”

Dunham walked one and hit two batters. Mt. San Jacinto also had a batter reach base on an error in the top of the ninth inning.

But Dunham struck out seven and was in control from start to finish with help from sophomore catcher Ryan Santa Cruz and a solid defense behind him. Dunham improved his record to 2-0 on the year.

And the Lasers improved their record to 10-1-1 overall. IVC has won nine of its nine of its last 10 games.

Irvine Valley opened the game up in the bottom of the sixth inning on Monday, scoring four runs in the frame.

The Lasers got some help from Mt. San Jacinto, which made three errors in the inning. The first three runs of the inning scored on errors and then freshman left fielder Kyle Dobson singled up the middle to drive in sophomore second baseman Trent Whitaker and make it a 4-0 game.

Irvine Valley added two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on another Mt. San Jacinto error and a sacrifice fly by Santa Cruz.

And Irvine Valley capped its scoring in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single up the middle by freshman first basman Pu’ukani De Sa. De Sa and Dobson were each 2 fort 4 with one RBI on the day.

Dunham did the rest. In the top of the ninth, he got Jacob Boney to ground out to second for the first out and then Robert Doerr to ground out to shortstop for the second out.

After Shawn McAdams reached on an error Dunham finished off his no-hitter by getting Carson McCafferty to fly out to sophomore center fielder Ben McConnell.

The celebration was on after that.

Irvine Valley plays again on Thursday at home against San Diego City at 2 p.m.