[Note: this story has been modified since its original posting.]
When Missouri relief pitcher Michael Cole entered the game Friday night in the eighth inning, he knew Missouri starting pitcher Max Scherzer had pitched a solid seven innings.
It wasn't until Cole completed the final two innings that he realized he and Scherzer had just combined on a no-hitter.
"I really had no clue that there was a no-hitter going on until I got back in the clubhouse," Cole said. "Everybody was really excited, and I was like, 'It's just two innings.'"
Missouri defeated Texas Tech 25-0 at Taylor Stadium in a game so remarkable that it seemed like an April Fools' Day prank.
It was the Tigers' first no-hitter since 1981, when Jim Maddock did it to Nebraska, but that wasn't the only rarity. Texas Tech gave up 17 runs in the second inning, including eight that scored without the Tigers even getting a hit. The Red Raiders set Big 12 records for walks in an inning (8) and hit batters in an inning (4). Texas Tech used seven pitchers and finished the night with four fielding errors.
MU coach Tim Jamieson said he didn't expect the Texas Tech meltdown, which led to a 21-0 score after the second inning.
"It's shocking, really," Jamieson said. "They're a good baseball team and this is just an aberration on their side. Tomorrow will be a completely different day."
But not all of the Tiger runs were coming because of Red Raider mistakes. The Tigers also pounded out 13 hits. Junior James Boone was 4-for-4 with two triples, five runs scored and six RBIs.
"Obviously they were giving us a lot of runs, and then when they started throwing strikes, we were hitting them," Boone said. "They didn't just give us everything. We did earn some of those."
Lost in the glare of the no-hitter and 25 runs was Missouri's Big 12 record, which stands at 4-0 for the first time ever. The last time the Tigers started the conference season 4-0 was 1987 in the Big Eight. The Tigers (22-4) also won their 14th game in a row. Texas Tech fell to 18-9 overall and 2-4 in the Big 12.
"It's my second year here, and I'm just glad I'm a part of it," Scherzer said.
The feat of the night, however, belonged to Scherzer. He set a career high in strikeouts with 14 and walked three batters, the only blemishes in his seven innings of work.
Scherzer said he realized he was pitching a no-hitter in about the fourth inning.
"I'm more worried about not giving up walks and making sure I make my pitches than the no-hitter," he said. "That's just a thing to have. It doesn't give you wins and losses."
Still, Scherzer said his heart was beating hard as Cole tried to get the last outs of the game.
"That last inning, I was just like, 'Oh, come on Mike, somehow get 'em out. Whatever you do, just please get 'em out.' That's so awesome to get a no-hitter."