Connor Portugal couldn’t be more ecstatic about what went down last Friday.
He took the mound in the season opener, a new all-turf field was unveiled at Inglemoor High — and the senior lefty twirled a no-hitter.
It was a pretty good start, he said with a laugh on Tuesday afternoon regarding the Vikings’ 4-0 non-league victory over Bishop Blanchet.
“It was my first no-hitter. I’d gotten real close before, but it always escaped me in the sixth or seventh,” said Portugal, who had 10 strikeouts.
Sean Kaufmann had a triple and two RBIs and Teddy Bishop added an RBI on offense. Portugal received stellar defense from Brendan Coyne in center field and Sean Mulcare at shortstop. Portugal was in awe of one Mulcare gem, where he dove for the ball, slid on one knee and fired a “laser” across the diamond to beat the runner to first.
Portugal said his fastball was working wonders with a nice tail on it and his curveball was effective, too.
“Everything was clicking well,” he said of the mixture of pitches and the Vikings’ defense.
As he rolled through the Bishop Blanchet lineup, Portugal knew he had something special on his hands, but tried not to think about achieving a no-hitter. During the third inning, Viking Kyle Elliott mentioned the no-hitter to Portugal, who jokingly reprimanded his teammate for doing so. Elliott told Portugal not to worry because he knocked on wood.
When the seventh inning arrived, Portugal was fully in the no-hitter zone.
“I went, ‘Wow! I’m really close to doing this,’ ” he said.
With the rowdy Inglemoor student section behind Portugal, the Vikings notched the final three outs. The crowd cheered and the Vikings were hyped up, the pitcher said.
“It was cool getting to see all of it,” Portugal added.
Portugal’s next outing will be against Bellevue at 7 p.m. Friday at Inglemoor.
So what’s his game plan after tossing a no-hitter in the opening game?
“I only intend to follow with a W,” he said.
On Saturday, Juanita beat Inglemoor, 11-4. Christian Soper had a hit and two RBIs for the Vikings.