As he headed to the mound to pitch the seventh inning on Monday night, Royals prospect Jonathan Bowlan was well aware that he was on the cusp of something special.
Bowlan, who was taken in the second round of last year’s draft, had never thrown a no-hitter in his life.
But he accomplished the feat for Class A-advanced Wilmington in a 3-0 victory over Carolina.
“After the sixth, I was thinking to myself, ‘there’s nine outs left. That’s all you have left is nine outs.’ I’m not going to lie, I had butterflies while I was thinking of that,” Bowlan said in an interview shared by the Blue Rocks on Twitter.
“But as I went out there, I got in my comfort zone, because when I get on the mound, it’s just me and the catcher and I was just focused on taking it one pitch at a time, one out at a time, not trying to overthink things.”
Bowlan ended the no-hitter in convincing fashion, striking out Carolina’s Brice Turang.
“Of course, after nine innings, I was tired, fatigued,” Bowlan told MiLB.com. “At the end, after the strikeout, it was pure excitement. I had to express myself; I had to let it out.”
Dennicher Carrasco’s throwing error in the second inning was all that kept Bowlan’s no-hitter from being a perfect game. But that didn’t stop Bowlan from showing his teammates some love.
“My defense was absolutely huge,” Bowlan said in the video. “They’re a huge part of this accomplishment.”
Bowlan, who is a 6-foot-6, 262-pound right-hander, said he had carried a no-hitter in the seventh inning in college at Memphis and once had a no-hitter in the fifth inning of a seven-inning game as a pro.
So Monday’s game was a big milestone.
Bowlan threw just 98 pitches and 63 were for strikes. He struck out nine and got 13 groundball outs.