Centennial's McCuskey throws no-hitter
CHAMPAIGN — The pregame bullpen session went pretty well. The curveball was moving. So was the cutter.
Still, Ryan McCuskey had no idea what was coming for him Tuesday.
The Centennial senior pitched a no-hitter, striking out eight Rantoul batters in a 5-0 win.
"I started thinking about it in the fifth inning," McCuskey said. "I didn't start processing it and started getting nervous until the sixth and seventh."
McCuskey got some help from his buddies. In the sixth inning, Centennial first baseman Nate Gibbons speared a line drive that would have gone for a double. And Gibbons doubled a runner off first base.
It has been a breakthrough season on the mound for McCuskey, who didn't pitch much for the Chargers as a junior. After a solid offseason, Centennial coach Rich Hyde told McCuskey he would need him this season. So far, so good for McCuskey, who is 4-1 after Tuesday's gem.
"He's trusting me to give me the ball," McCuskey said.
Hyde isn't sure the last time a Charger threw a no-hitter. Hyde didn't have one as a Centennial player, but did pitch a one-hitter at Illinois.
McCuskey was told after the game that it had been 24 years since the last Centennial no-hitter. If that's right, it came before all the current players were born.
After the no-hitter, Hyde gave McCuskey the game ball. He wrote on it and has a case ready for display.