It is a rare thing of great beauty – a no hitter in baseball. Now Guntersville senior left-handed pitcher Collin Gentle can claim one in his final year of high school baseball. And against an area opponent no less.
It was the Wildcats’ first game against Fairview last week. Collin struck out 8 batters, with 2 Aggie hitters reaching base on balls, as Guntersville won 10-0, ending the game in the 5th inning on the mercy rule.
As must happen for just about any pitcher’s no hitter, the fielders must play error-free ball and that was the case in this one, with Collin’s infield in particular backing him up.
“It was our 3rd game in area play,” Collin said. “We went into the game 2-0 in the area and the team was ready to play defense behind me that night. I guess I had a good night on the mound. Our offense hit the ball well and scored the runs we needed to win the game. We got the win as a team. I did my part and the fielders did theirs.”
The guys who had Collin’s back in the win included Chandler Hampton on 1st, Jackson Adcock on 2nd , Logan Pate at shortstop and Chase Cornelius at 3rd, along with Dee Green in center field.
Some of those same fellows got the bats hot to give Guntersville the victory. It was a very good night for Wildcat batters: Evan Taylor got 3 hits and 2 RBIs; Dee Green 2 hits; Sam Canady 1 hit; Chase Cornelius 2 RBIs; and Logan Pate 2 RBIs.
Collin is something of a rarity in high school baseball. A lot of guys pitch, but also play infield or outfield and bat. A team must have a deep pitching roster due to the limitations on the number of pitches allowed per pitcher per week, so high school teams always have multiple pitchers.
Collin doesn’t field and he doesn’t bat. He is a pure pitcher. And this was not his first no hitter. He threw one a few seasons back.
Baseball is his only sport. He has been playing ever since T-ball days. He is the son of Kevin and Krissy Gentle. He has a younger brother Cam who is also an athlete. Cam plays baseball, football and basketball.
“Collin has been so steady for us all year,” Guntersville baseball coach Kenny Chaffin said. “He’s been our No. 1 pitcher from the start. During the off-season and COVID, Collin got himself in tremendous shape. It’s helped him out so much. He’s just been a great representative for his family, school, and our baseball team.”
When he isn’t playing baseball, Collin enjoys hunting for turkeys, deer and ducks. He and his father have been using any chance away from the ballfield to try for a spring gobbler.