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Brett Tomko throws no-hitter

by Ryan McGhee
July 4, 2001 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)

Brett Tomko throws no-hitter

by Ryan McGhee

Brett Tomko had a captive audience. No matter how lopsided the final score of Tuesday night’s Pacific Coast League game at Bricktown Ballpark between the Tacoma Rainiers and Oklahoma RedHawks could be, all 13,066 fans (a sellout crowd) would remain to the very end. No one wanted to miss the post-game Fourth of July celebration fireworks.

But that night they had another reason to stay. Even though the hometown RedHawks were losing, the crowd wanted to see Brett Tomko make history.

Tomko dominated the local ball club. For the first five innings, his no-hitter was boring. A ground out, ho-hum. A pop out, whoopee. Nothing exciting. No play required anything special from the defense behind Tomko to keep his no-hitter alive. Every play was routine. Every out made Tomko seem even more dominating. He was nearly perfect. If he hadn’t walked three-hole batter Carlos Peña in the first inning, Tomko would have been shooting for baseball’s coup de grace, the perfect game.

For most of the game, Tomko needed to be dominating. The Rainiers held a slim 1-0 lead after Todd Betts hit a homerun into the Tacoma bullpen in right field. the Raniers finally gave Tomko some breathing room in the ninth when they scored four runs to make the score 7-0. Tomko didn’t get his first strikeout until the sixth inning when Curtis Goodwin went down swinging. Tomko ended with six strikeouts, four of them looking, including the final batter, lead off man Harry Berrios.

After the final out, Tomko was greeted between the mound and home plate by catcher Blake Barthol, who jumped into his arms. Shortly thereafter, the pitcher was mobbed by the rest of his teammates.

"It was fun," said Tomko, whose no-hitter is the first in the history of the new Oklahoma City park. "I still don’t believe it. There aren’t many chances you get like this."

It was a night to remember for everyone at the Bricktown Ballpark. One fan won a new car, and there was a spectacular fireworks display afterwards, but first and foremost it was the night Brett Tomko no-hit the Oklahoma RedHawks.

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Pacific Coast League Stories from July 4, 2001

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