May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Orange’s no-hit pitcher Jonathon Long the ‘heart and soul’ of program, coach says

Jonathon Long of Orange, shown in a playoff game last year, had a no-hitter Saturday. (Photo courtesy Orange baseball)

It was a memorable start to the season for Orange High pitcher Jonathon Long, who hurled a no-hitter in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Savanna.

The Panthers won 1-0 after taking the opener 9-4.

“To be honest during the game I had no clue that there was a no-hitter,” said Orange Coach George Chace. “My focus was on winning the game. I was so wrapped up in managing the game, when I ran over to the third base coaching box in the bottom of the sixth, John Baughmann (the Savanna coach) says you know your guy has a no hitter right?

“I was caught off guard because that was the first time I realized it.  I knew I had to be aggressive to get a lead so I could give Jonny the opportunity to complete the no-hitter. That inning the final out of the inning was at home plate, they threw our guy out on a two-out base hit. Jonny sat them down one, two, three in the seventh.”

But Orange still had to come up with a run in the bottom of the inning.

“We got one of our fastest guys on first and Jason Miranda (first team all league last year) hit a one-out double in the gap to end it and score Efrain Ayala,” Chace said.

“It was a crazy ending to an awesome game and to end it in walk off fashion it just made what Jonny did that much more special.”

Long struck out six and walked one. He appears to have a promising future after signing a national letter of intent to play baseball for Long Beach State next season.

“What can I say about Jonny,” Chace said. “He means everything to the program. He is the heart and soul, and the pulse of this program. He is the type of player that immediately elevates the level your team is capable of achieving. He does everything for us…hits, pitches, is our best infielder defensively and could catch if we needed him to. He’s an extremely talented baseball player that is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential and I’m really excited to see what the future holds for him.”

RELATED: More on Saturday’s no-hitter

If you have baseball news to share, please email to Tim Burt: timburt@ocsportszone.com so we can publish. And if a pitcher on a team throws a no-hitter, please let us know and send us a picture so we can share with our readers (cell phone pictures welcome)