Rounding the Bases with Will Roberts
Will Roberts made history Tuesday, firing just the eighth nine-inning perfect game in NCAA history. Roberts recorded 27 straight outs against George Washington and needed just 98 pitches to earn the second perfect game in ACC history (Dick Reitz, Maryland in 1957). It was the 19th perfect game of any length in NCAA Division I history, the first for any pitcher in Division I since 2002 and the first in the Virginia annals. It obviously was a remarkable achievement; here are some of Roberts’ quick thoughts on that performance.
What thoughts were going through your head when you were standing on the mound with one out to go?
Roberts: I was thinking, ‘hey I have made it this far, I better get one more out.’ But, I had the whole bench behind me and the whole crowd behind me. There was no way I was not going to get it.
Were you at all uneasy or nervous walking out to the mound in the ninth inning?
Roberts: I think adrenaline had taken over by the ninth. I felt a resurgence by about the seventh inning and I knew then that this was going to be something special.
Was there a point in the game when you realized what you had going?
Roberts: Around the fifth inning, I thought something might happen and then around the eighth and ninth, I was just going to make it happen.
Did you talk to your teammates in between innings or did everybody stay away from you?
Roberts: I do not think I said a word to anybody the entire game. I also do not think anybody wanted to come over and say anything and be that guy – not even Kenny (Swab), my catcher.
Were there any plays that scared you coming off the bat?
Roberts: There were a couple of slow rollers that Keith (Werman) came in and made plays on. That is his signature play. There was also one play in the eighth inning where the guy hit it pretty hard up the middle. It hit my leg and fell dead. I have never seen that happen where the ball just falls dead and does not deflect anywhere. When that happened, I knew it was my day.
Had you ever come close to throwing even a no-hitter in high school or little league?
Roberts: Never. Not even in high school where you only have to go seven innings. This was definitely something special and I was glad to be able to share it with my team.
Talk about your team up to this point in the season.
Roberts: We are a hard-nosed ball club. We are going to do what it takes to move runners up and bring them in. Our pitching staff has been outstanding this year. Our three weekend starters have great numbers. I think we are playing great baseball.