Woodcreek graduate catches first no-hitter in Cal State Stanislaus history

By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Interestingly, Clint Brill had never been involved in a no-hitter – on the pitching and catching end, anyway.

Today, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior is a catcher at Cal State Stanislaus in Turlock, but until his freshman year at Woodcreek School, Brill never donned the gear.

Now, he's a part of Cal State Stanislaus history after catching the first no-hitter in the 48-year history of the program. Brill received Andrew Graham's no-hitter on March 16. Graham walked three hitters, hit one and struck out four in a 3-0 victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills at Warrior Baseball Field.

Not surprisingly, Graham was named California Collegiate Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week. Brill didn't call pitches; that responsibility falls to the Stanislaus coaching staff. But whether a fastball, curve or slider was called, Graham threw it for a strike.

"Wherever he wanted, whenever he wanted," Brill said of Graham, a Ponderosa graduate. "I didn’t even realize it was a no-hitter until the fifth or sixth inning. We’d go out there, and we'd be back in the dugout in less than five minutes."

The last pitch was a ground ball back to the mound. Brill said he gave Graham "a nice, big hug" and offered congratulations.

"Everyone ran out on the field," Brill said. "It was fun. He probably won’t forget that."

Brill's dad, Clint, was a catcher and third baseman in the Atlanta Braves organization, yet young Clint didn't squat behind the plate until Brian Dennis, his coach with the Woodcreek Junior Giants, put him there, and that was through attrition.

"What happened was we ran out of guys," Brill said. "I thought, 'My dad caught a little bit; I can probably figure it out.' "

Brill figured it out, to the point that upon graduating from Sierra College last spring he had interest from several NAIA colleges. He said Stanislaus was the first NCAA Division II school to contact him.

And Brill is making it count. He was 5 for 7 in the four-game series against Dominguez Hills and was batting .278, third on the team, in 19 games, including 15 starts, for the Warriors (7-24).