Athletes of the Week
April 30, 2002
Name: Doug Ireland
Name: Eric Lipp
For having pitched only a combined three innings before Sunday's game against the Great Falls Sparkies, Doug Ireland and Eric Lipp looked like they had been pitching all season.
In the first game of a doubleheader, Lipp held the Sparkies to just two hits and three walks. Lipp struck out four in the shut out.
Ireland had a very tough act to follow but somehow topped his teammate's stellar performance by pitching the first no-hitter of his career. Ireland struck out seven, walked two and allowed just one runner to reach third base.
Strong pitching is something the Northstars players and coaches are becoming quite accustomed to. Despite Lipp and Ireland not having seen much time on the mound, Northstars coach Mickey Williams said, "I expect (the strong pitching) from those two kids."
Ireland said after the game that some of his teammates didn't even know he had a no-hitter going. Coach Williams also said that when the game first ended, he didn't realize Ireland hadn't given up a hit.
"I had good speed, good location," Ireland said. "I lost it in the fourth inning a little but they didn't make me pay for it."
Said Lipp: "I was just hitting my spots. I was trying to keep the ball low to the ground."
Lipp and Ireland received great run support from their teammates as both games were called after five innings due to the 10-run rule. The first game ended with the Northstars winning 14-0 with the second one 11-0.
After the game, both Lipp and Ireland credited their teammates for the run support.
"That's big if their hitting," Lipp said. "Especially is we're pitching good. It's going to be pretty tough to beat us. It takes a lot of tension off you when your team is hitting well behind you."
The Northstars have the week off this week. Their next scheduled game is May 8 against the Comets.