Vinson perfect on bittersweet day

Vinson perfect on bittersweet day

FITHIAN — Chase Vinson's Wednesday morning began with the delivery of horrible news. His summer baseball pitching coach, former Schlarman star and 23-year-old Tyler Brennan, died late Tuesday in a single-car accident east of Danville.

"He was definitely on my mind all game," the Oakwood senior said of Wednesday's tilt with Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman.

But that didn't hold Vinson back. In fact, it spurred him on to one of baseball's rarest feats: a perfect game.

The left-hander fanned all 15 hitters he faced over five innings, lifting the host Comets to a 10-0 Vermilion Valley Conference victory over the Buffaloes.

"I've never seen it in 17 years coaching," Oakwood coach Ryan McFarland said. "(G-RF/C had) four kids hitting the ball really well. For him to just take over the game like that, it was just impressive to watch."

Vinson said it didn't take him long to start pondering how long he could stay perfect for the Comets (3-6-1) after he sent down the first three Buffaloes (7-3) via punchout.

"I would definitely be lying if I said I didn't think about it in the first inning," Vinson said. "There was a lot of emotion early on. I just kept thinking about (Brennan)."

Vinson helped himself at the plate, too, with two hits and an RBI. Elijah Harden and and Chris Wyer each knocked in two runs as well.

Outside the tragedy of a friend gone too soon, Vinson's performance was meaningful in the scheme of his impact on four years worth of Oakwood baseball, football and basketball.

"It means so much just because of the amount of pride I have being from here," Vinson said. "This is everything I've known. It means so much to me that I can contribute and be part of history."

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