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RC’s Prins pitches perfect game against Crusaders

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POSTED April 1, 2010 2:13 a.m.
RIPON – Everything lined up for Ripon Christian senior Clayton Prins, as he accomplished the rarest of baseballs rarest feats, twirling a perfect game in a 3-0 Trans Valley League win over Modesto Christian Wednesday.

Prins was the epitome of efficiency, needing a near effortless 61 pitches to turn the Crusaders away 21 in a row. He sat down six on strikeouts, 12 on groundouts and induced two fly-out’s and a lineout. Dylan Van Vliet provided Prins with all the support he would need when he came around to score on an opposite field single from Robert Hull.

“He was phenomenal today,” Ripon Christian head coach John DeVisser said. “I’ve been around a lot of baseball, but I have never been a part of a no-hitter or especially a perfect game.

“It was pretty special to put it mildly.”

Prins came around to score twice, providing insurance runs that he would not need. Van Vliet was 2 for 3 on the afternoon, smashing a pair of doubles in his three trips. Battery-mate Arie Den Dulk assisted the cause going 2 for 3, while teammate Justin Lemoine added an RBI single in the sixth inning.

Defensively, the Knights helped preserve Prins’ moment of perfection with standout plays from Elija English, Aaron Fay and Van Vilet in the game’s final two innings.

“When you look back at a perfect game there are always going to be four or five plays that stick out in your mind,” DeVisser said. “Like the one last year that (Mark) Buehrle threw when the guy went over the fence to make the catch, we had a couple of those today. Aaron Fay made a great play on a line-drive.

“Without good defense a perfect game just (isn’t) going to happen.”

The Knights will reflect back on this TVL win for the remainder of their lives, regardless of the outcome on the season. Realizing the accomplishment and enjoying it poses no challenge, but accepting the moment in grace is the priceless lesson that Ripon Christian undoubtedly learned.

“My stomach was starting to hurt there towards the end when I was calling pitches,” DeVisser said. “And when Fay made the last out everybody just kind of lost it and ran out there and jumped on him. You want them to enjoy the moment, but you have to realize there is another team out there. So we enjoyed our two minutes and then I got them settled down pretty quickly.

“You always have to be conscious there is another team out there.”

As challenging as it will be, Ripon Christian will try to continue to improve when they play host to the Escalon Cougars at 4 p.m.
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