UWL student throws a no-hitter in win vs. #1 Concordia


Picture via uwlathletics.com

Trevor Kliebenstein, Sports Reporter

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse starting pitcher Connor Cook stapled his name in UWL’s record books April 18 after throwing a seven-inning no-hitter against Concordia University Chicago. After falling 0-3 in the first of a doubleheader, Cook took the mound only expecting to go four or five innings since he was coming off of short rest. “I was planning on giving all the energy I had and then hand the game over to Caleb Williams to shut down,” said Cook.

Plans changed for Cook after he cruised through the first five innings. Through five innings, he only faced one batter over the minimum and head coach Chris Schwarz decided to keep him in. At this moment, Cook started to realize he was close to making history.

Cook said, “I probably didn’t even notice that I actually had a no-hitter until the fourth or fifth inning. But didn’t think much about it until the bottom of the seventh.” He went on to say up until the seventh inning his mindset was simply to not let Concordia score, but in the seventh inning, his mind went straight to history.

“In the seventh, I was just like, ‘Let’s do this thing.’”

Cook threw UWL’s seventh no-hitter in program history.

“I was very excited and proud of the accomplishment. An outing like that is very rare and doesn’t happen often.” He attributed the no-hitter to his whole team, crediting the run support he got all game.

Cook said, “It was great to have the run support, led by Carson [Youngquist’s] three RBI’s. The runs make it easier to pitch because there’s not as much pressure when you’re pitching with a lead.”

Youngquist hit a two-run homerun in the first inning to put the Eagles ahead 3-0. The Eagles added four runs in the sixth inning, with one of the runs courtesy of a Youngquist RBI double to extend the lead to 7-0.

Youngquist said his team was very loose and confident the whole game, and the excitement grew inning by inning. He said, “When we realized what was going on, it made the whole experience that much better. It was just a fun atmosphere to be in and one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of.”

Youngquist added, “Everyone on our team knows how good of a pitcher Connor is. He’s a bulldog and one of the best competitors I’ve been on a baseball field with. Baseball is a funny sport, anything can happen on any given day, especially when you have a pitcher as good as Connor on the mound.”

Both Cook and Youngquist said this game could be a momentum builder going into the end of the season, given it was a huge win against the number one team in Division 3 baseball. Cook is focused on improving the Eagles pitching staff, saying, “We just have to keep up the next guy mentality and minimize our opponent’s big inning.”

Cook, Youngquist and the UWL baseball team play next April 25 at Saint Mary’s University, Minn. to try to improve on their 17-10 record.

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