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Mikkelsen Throws AL’s Third No-Hitter June 17, 2006

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EXCLUSIVE ATLANTICLEAGUEBASEBALL.COM PHOTO BY MIKE ASHMORE

CLICK HERE FOR EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF THE LAST OUT

CLICK HERE FOR MIKKELSEN’S COMPLETE POST-GAME CONVERSATION WITH REPORTERS

CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE BOX SCORE

Mikkelsen throws no-hitter in Lancaster
by Mike Ashmore

June 16, 2006

LANCASTER – “I felt my heart pumping through my chest, and I was excited. Once it happened, the whole place erupted.”

And that’s just what Atlantic City Surf manager Jeff Ball had to say, so imagine what it was like for his pitcher Lincoln Mikkelsen to throw the third no-hitter in Atlantic League history at Lancaster’s Clipper Magazine Stadium.

5,815 fans packed the house to watch history unfold before their eyes, as the 38-year-old right hander faced just two more than the minimum, walking four batters and striking out five.

“Honestly, I thought about it in the fourth,” Mikkelsen said. “I thought it would be cool to get into the seventh or eighth with it.”

Even though he was thinking about it as early as the fourth, even he didn’t think it would happen a few innings earlier.

“I had doo-doo in the second and the third,” he said. “It really wasn’t good, I was missing and I was overstriding. I was really flustered out there, but they helped me out and they missed some pitches.”

Mikkelsen is no stranger to no-hitters, with this being the second in his professional career and his fifth overall.

“If you count high school, I had back-to-back-to-back (no-hitters),” he said.

Mikkelsen, who also doubles as the Surf’s pitching coach, said that this particular no-hitter was different than his previous four.

“There were more walks,” he said. “In the other ones, I don’t think I walked anybody.”

The Ducks Rod Henderson threw the first no-hitter in league history on May 25, 2001 and was followed by the Bears Joe Gannon more than three years later on August 17, 2004.

This was the first no-hitter thrown in Clipper Magazine Stadium, in its second season of existence.

As the game wore on, with the Surf giving Mikkelsen a slim 1-0 lead on a third inning RBI groundout by Todd Leathers, the right-hander claims he didn’t tense up at all.

“I was more aggressive, actually,” Mikkelsen said. “I probably had better stuff in seven, eight and nine than I did early in the game.”

For Mikkelsen’s catcher on the evening, 25-year-old Australia native John MacLeod, this was the first no-hitter he’d ever caught.

“It’s probably the most thrilling thing that’s ever happened to me in baseball,” MacLeod said. “He pitched a great game, he deserves all the credit. He’s probably the hardest working guy I’ve ever (seen) in professional baseball.”

Ball, in his third year as Surf skipper, also got to experience his first no-hitter as a manager.

“I’m just so happy for him,” Ball said. “This guy’s a workhorse, he’s a bulldog. He wants the ball in pressure situations, and he delivered today. MacLeod called a great game for him, and those guys were in sync. It was great.”

It’s tradition to leave a pitcher with a no-hitter or perfect game in the works alone, and that stayed true to form in the visiting dugout tonight, as nary a word was said to Mikkelsen as the game went into its later stages.

“It was very quiet in the dugout, everybody knew what was going on,” Ball said. “He just bared down and made great pitches all night. It was great to be a part of.”

The no-hitter overshadowed the performance of Barnstormers pitcher Cameron Smith, who struck out eight batters to establish a new season high for Lancaster pitchers. Smith has been hampered by a cut on his finger which affects his ability to grip the ball correctly.

But clearly, the man of the hour was Mikkelsen.

“I’m just glad I could be a part of it,” MacLeod said. “It just goes to show that hard work pays off.”

I got my dad a no-hitter for Father’s Day, here’s his ticket.

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Comments»

1. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - June 17, 2006

Before I hear a single word about the video, just keep in mind I was probably more nervous than Linc out there. I wanted to see this very, very badly.

-M-

2. Jane Jubilee - June 17, 2006

Wow! Mike! This is so awesome, and you were there! YOu must be so psyched. Thank you so much for posting this. You are the best at sharing league news with the fans, and you always deliver the goods the way we want to get them. Good for you! Congrats to Mikkelson! Awesome news! Thanks for the photo, video and audio. Excellent job!!!

– Jane Jubilee
http://www.BrickCityBruins.com

3. jc daly - June 17, 2006

You sure picked a good time to catch a game in Lancaster! Thanks for the goodies!

4. number1surffan John - June 17, 2006

wow.

umm

WOW!

5. Anonymous - June 17, 2006

Okay, let’s see if he gets $crewed out of the pitcher of the month this time…

6. Anonymous - June 17, 2006

We almost made it through six whole posts before a negative comment appeared! Nice job bloggers!

7. Amy - June 17, 2006

Mike…that was an awesome game by Lincoln…thanks for coming to Lancaster and it was great to meet you. I can tell you I was nervous for him as well…he had the Barnstormers in check the entire game! Thanks for all the great work on the site!

8. Anonymous - June 17, 2006

GREAT GAME MIKE…….
I was there as well
tonight will be great as well (Hell all 7 games will be great)
Hope to see you in lancaster again sometime and maybe get a chance to meet up with you. so isn’t Clipper a awsome place to see a game? i love going to the games.
also heard the Barnstormers resigned Danny Gonzalez @ SS He was released by the Chicago cubs this week.

-RLP- BARNSTORMER FAN

9. Amy - June 17, 2006

Wow…I hadn’t heard that about Gonzalez being resigned. Hope its true!!!!

10. Amy - June 17, 2006

Great news about the Barnstormers resigning Danny G…just found it in the newspaper.

11. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - June 17, 2006

I guess Gonzalez coming aboard means Hake can take a break. Good rhyme by me there.

Loved the stadium, awesome place to watch a game…again, outside of getting a headache from looking into the sun.

Was nice to meet a few of the people I stay in contact with regularly, hopefully I can come up there again soon.

-M-

12. Weston - June 17, 2006

Gonzalez is not to join the team until Mon. With him joining the team that means they will release Kevin Wilson or Travis Hake will have his bone chips removed from his elbow. We will have to see!

13. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - June 17, 2006

Anyone know which paper to credit on that? I assume Jason had this…

14. Anonymous - June 18, 2006

MIKE
The reason for the sun hitting the batter and the fans in the face goes back to the Lancaster Red roses. they wanted the same setting as the old days. thats why i got my season tickets on the 3rd base side.

-RLP- Barnstormer fan

15. Amy - June 18, 2006

Lancaster New Era reported the Gonzalez signing tonight…Jason Guarante.

16. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - June 18, 2006

Thanks!

Figured as much, just wanted to be sure…I always credit people whenever possible. Jason’s good people, he’s been doing a great job over there.

-M-

17. Surf Voice - June 20, 2006

Mike, do you think getting on the Surf pre-game was a good omen? LOL…John

18. Anonymous - June 20, 2006

Great video BTW

19. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - June 21, 2006

John, just goes to show you what can happen when I get involved haha. I’d have to say my favorite part of the video is me shaking like a leaf after Hake hits it (first pitch swinging!!!)

-M-


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