Oliver Laufman was mobbed on the mound after the final out was recorded.
Lake Washington’s junior had just thrown his first-ever no-hitter and his teammates poured out of the dugout and sprinted in from their positions to celebrate with the heroic hurler.
That was the enthusiastic scene after LW defeated Redmond, 6-0, in the 3A KingCo baseball tournament on Saturday morning at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue. LW advanced in the tournament while Redmond’s season is over.
Laufman’s smile was beaming after the game.
“I feel ecstatic. My arm wasn’t 100 percent healthy, so I knew I would have to come in here throwing to contact, and I just was hitting my spots. Command, I think, was great for me today,” said Laufman, who has thrown some one-hit games this season.
The pitcher — who hadn’t thrown in 14 days — laughed while noting that he kept track of his hitless outing the whole time.
“I try not to think about it too much, but I know my heart is racing,” he said, adding that the last out was pressure packed. “I was trusting my guys, making sure that we got over there and made a good throw.”
Catcher Jesus Vizcarra was just as thrilled to be involved in the no-hitter — his first as well — as Laufman.
“He did what he did all year, just attack hitters and let his defense work,” said Vizcarra, who erased Juanita pitcher Jayson Schroeder’s perfect-game bid with a fifth-inning single on May 3.
As the game progressed without any hits from the Redmond side, Vizcarra left Laufman alone. He and his Kang teammates didn’t want to jinx the pitcher.
“Towards the fourth inning, I didn’t really go near him. We all started lining up on the top rail and nobody was close to him,” the catcher said.
Redmond didn’t get a runner past second base during Laufman’s gem, in which he had four strikeouts and no walks on 76 pitches. LW committed three errors.
Laufman retired the last 11 batters, and the seventh ended with flyouts to Michael Buchanan and Nick Anderson in left and right and a groundout to Travis Lee at shortstop and a stretching grab from Torin Montgomery at first.
“We’ve got the best defense in the state, in my opinion, so we trust our guys,” Vizcarra said.
On the best part about the LW squad, he added: “Our camaraderie, we have great team chemistry. We know each other really well, and we don’t care who’s on the hill, we just go after them.”
LW tallied three runs in the bottom of the first with RBIs from Vizcarra (double), I-Ly Hsue (deep sacrifice flyout) and Lee (single).
The Kangs got a run in the fourth on a Ricky Koishida double, and two more in the fifth on a Lee triple and Buchanan sac squeeze bunt.
Anderson added a single and a double on the day.
LW will next play in another loser-out game at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Juanita at Bannerwood.
“It’s a great group of guys and I’m really glad to get an opportunity to go out and compete with them almost every day. I wouldn’t rather do it with anyone else,” LW’s Nation Wood said earlier in the week.