Chase Holler

Chase Holler pitched the first no-hitter of the afternoon for Douglas Legion C. “He was aggressive and in the zone,” said manager Andres Robles. “Chase was locked in the entire game, hitting his spots and working off his fastball great.”

Nearly every sport — no matter objective, relative difficulty or country of origin — holds one specific personal achievement in the highest regard.

In both soccer and hockey, it’s the hat trick. Three goals in a game translate to indescribable personal glory. For basketball players, it’s the intensely sought-after triple-double, meaning a player decorates the stat sheets with double-figure numbers in three categories — typically points, assists and rebounds.

But baseball’s most prestigious honor — the no-hitter — might just stand above the rest.

It’s so rare, in fact, that many teams go years without one of their pitchers tossing one.

A pitcher or team going an entire game without allowing a single hit to their opponent might seem like an impossibility.

Just don’t tell that to the Douglas Legion C Cats.

The Cats recently tossed not one, but two no-hitters — both in a single day.

First, it was Chase Holler.

Holler threw a complete five-inning game against Buffalo in the top half of a doubleheader on June 12, striking out six batters and walking just one.

“He was aggressive and in the zone,” said manager Andres Robles. “Chase was locked in the entire game, hitting his spots and working off his fastball great.”

The game didn’t lead off on the highest note for Holler, however, as he walked the first batter he faced. But from that point on, the 15 year old focused up and pitched the best game of his blossoming career.

“It started off pretty bad,” he admitted. “I walked one kid in the first inning, and then from there, I just told myself to get back in the game. I started doing a lot better. I didn’t even realize I’d thrown a no-hitter until near the end of the game.”

It wasn’t until Holler returned to the dugout after the fourth inning — with Douglas leading 11-0 — that his teammates informed him of what was happening. As Holler sat down on the metal bench and took a deep breath, he finally figured out just how dominant a game he was putting together.

“After the fourth inning, my teammates were all like, ‘Chase is throwing a no-hitter!’ and I thought to myself, ‘Wait, really? There’s no way. That’s crazy.’ So, I just went back out there that last inning and finished the job.”

After he recorded the game’s final out, the team erupted in cheers, and a sea of blue jerseys swarmed Holler down the third-base line. Holler was the hero of the premier portion of the afternoon.

Yet just as quickly and effortlessly as he turned aside each Buffalo batter he faced, he was equally as quick to deflect the praise from himself and onto his teammates.

“It wasn’t really just me pitching. I mean, sure, I was pounding the strike zone. But it was my teammates playing great defense behind me that got me the no-hitter. Brennon [Sullivan] had a lot of ground-balls hit to him at third, and every single one that was hit toward him, he got up, fielded it cleanly and got it over to first base. I was pretty proud of that kid.”

For Holler, it was the first no-hitter of his blooming career. But for Douglas, it was only the first of two that the team would throw before the day was finished.

The second honor belonged to both Tanner Johnson and Logan Ortega. The duo crafted a combined no-hitter in the second half of the Cats’ doubleheader against Buffalo, a match that also finished 11-0 to Douglas. Johnson pitched four innings, while Ortega came in to close out the game in the fifth.

Ortega credits the pristine performances to the do-or-die mentality of the team and the collective belief in what they can accomplish.

“We started to realize that since we lost to Buffalo earlier in the year, that if we don’t beat them both games and then win the rest of our conference games, we might not make state,” Ortega said.

“And we truly believe that if we do make state, we have a good chance to go on and win the championship.”

Douglas Legion C will finish up the regular season with a two-game set against Torrington on July 8, followed by a July 10 conference showdown vs. Sheridan before awaiting their fate for a potential state tournament run beginning on July 15.

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