No. 3 Story of the Year - Dunham throws first-ever IVC no-hitter

No. 3 Story of the Year - Dunham throws first-ever IVC no-hitter

In leading up to the official start of the 2019-20 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 27 with the IVC men's soccer team hosting Rio Hondo and the Laser women's soccer team playing at San Diego Mesa, the Irvine Valley athletic department will count down the top 10 sports stories from the 2018-19 school year. 

The No. 3 story on the list is the first no-hitter in Irvine Valley baseball program history that was thrown by sophomore righthander Justin Dunham on Feb. 18 at home against Mt. San Jacinto. The 6-3 Dunham was dominant in blanking Mt. San Jacinto, 7-0.

Sophomore pitcher Justin Dunham threw the first no-hitter in program history on Monday, Feb. 18 at home. The 6-3 right-hander was dominant in blanking Mt. San Jacinto, 7-0.

Dunham needed just over 100 pitches to make it happen. He faced 30 batters on the day.

"Justin has put in so much work since he got here," Irvine Valley coach Kent Madole said. "I am so proud of him and happy for our guys. This was a pretty fun day."

Dunham walked one and hit two batters. Mt. San Jacinto also had a batter reach base on an error in the top of the ninth inning.

But Dunham struck out seven and was in control from start to finish with help from sophomore catcher Ryan Santa Cruz and a solid defense behind him. Dunham improved his record to 2-0 on the year.

And the Lasers improved their record to 10-1-1 overall. 

Irvine Valley opened the game up in the bottom of the sixth inning on Monday, scoring four runs in the frame.

The Lasers got some help from Mt. San Jacinto, which made three errors in the inning. The first three runs of the inning scored on errors and then freshman left fielder Kyle Dobson singled up the middle to drive in sophomore second baseman Trent Whitakerand make it a 4-0 game.

Irvine Valley added two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on another Mt. San Jacinto error and a sacrifice fly by Santa Cruz.

And Irvine Valley capped its scoring in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single up the middle by freshman first basman Pu'ukani De Sa. De Sa and Dobson were each 2 fort 4 with one RBI on the day.

Dunham did the rest. In the top of the ninth, he got Jacob Boney to ground out to second for the first out and then Robert Doerr to ground out to shortstop for the second out. After Shawn McAdams reached on an error Dunham finished off his no-hitter by getting Carson McCafferty to fly out to sophomore center fielder Ben McConnell.

The celebration was on after that.

Dunham ended up having a solid season for the Lasers, finishing the year with a record of 5-5 and a 2.08 ERA. He pitched 73.2 innings and struck out 52 batters for Irvine Valley, which had a record of 20-19-1 overall on the year.