Santos Jarquín, a pitcher for the Indios del Bóer of the Nicaragua baseball league, now has the dubious honor of throwing the first no-hitter in the COVID-19 era.
We definitely live in strange times; Baseball — and pretty much every other sport — is on hold in most of the world, due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, but in Nicaragua, the only country in the Americas that didn’t officially lock down, the game kept going as usual.
In yet another week in the Germán Pomares tournament, the top-tier baseball competition in the Central American nation, the first-seeded Indios del Bóer hosted San Fernando Masaya in a double-header to compensate for a previously suspended game. The home team had won the first game in an 8-0 blowout, and in the second feature, Bóer pitcher Santos Jarquín would face Masaya starter, Fidencio Flores. But history was about to make a call, as Jarquín’s dominant performance became the first no-hitter of 2020. An even more bizarre occurrence considering the unique circumstances we currently live in.
The young Indios hurler was relentless but controlled, allowing almost no contact from a San Fernando squad that was already decimated by injuries to some of their key figures. In the game’s seven innings, he struck out twelve batters and tossed an exact 100 pitches.
To make matters even weirder, the team from the Nicaraguan capital took the advantage and the win via an unearned run, and only recorded one hit.
In the fourth inning, Wiston Dávila reached base on an uncanny error by Masaya right fielder Mario Rodríguez, followed by a walk to Juan Carlos Urbina that moved Dávila to second, and this gave way to the winning run brought in by the only hit in the game, a single to left field by Jordan Pavón.
This way, the series sweep was completed, and Indios del Bóer clinched the first spot in the second round of the National championship and will visit Costa Caribe later this week. As for the distinguished individual performance, this is only the 76th no-hitter in the history of Nicaraguan baseball, whose professional league was first established in 1970.
Despite the threat of the coronavirus pandemic all over the world, and particularly in Central America, the Pomares tournament will most likely continue, now with games mostly played behind closed doors. The country has been severely criticized by the international community, especially due to its leadership’s inaction during such a global state of emergency. The consequences of this are yet to be seen, but for now, we have our first pitching gem of the decade.
You can watch the full doubleheader on Youtube: