To our readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century type story, ... Click here to continue

Little League baseball

Vinalhaven's Hamilton pitch-perfect for high-flying Ravens

Future Viking invades mainland to pillage, plunder opposing batters
By Ken Waltz and Mark Haskell | Jun 07, 2021
Hunter Hamilton.

Thomaston — Hunter Hamilton made a lifetime memory — and, perhaps, a bit of recent Midcoast history — on Saturday, June 5 and the young islander did it one pitch at a time from his strong, accurate and trusty right arm.

The 12-year-old Vinalhaven youngster turned in a remarkable pitching performance in an Oceanside Little League baseball game played on the mainland.

In a regular-season contest against the Lions at the Thomaston Little League Field, Hamilton finished not only with a no-hitter, but also a rare perfect game.

That means he did not allow a hit or walk, and his team did not commit an error, in the shortened, five-inning contest. The islanders, called the Ravens, won via shutout.

Equally as impressive was the fact Hamilton struck out 14 of the 15 batters he faced, with one other out coming via an unassisted putout by the Vinalhaven first baseman.

To put Hamilton's spectacular effort from the mound in perspective, of the 15 outs recorded in the five-inning diamond game, 14 came via strikeouts from Hamilton. He actually only tossed a handful of pitches ruled balls.

Hamilton struck out the first nine batters over three innings, then there was a ground ball out to first base in the top of the fourth, before the youngster retired the final five batters via strikeout.

And what happened when the game ended?

"I put my hands up in a fist and shook it," he said. "You know like when you get excited you do that sometimes? And then I did the little pound on my chest and put my finger up at the sky. Because that game was for my grandmother, so I was kind of thanking her."

Muriel Conway, Hamilton's grandmother, died on May 9, 2019.

Oceanside Little League President Chris Barstow said he does not recall another such impressive pitching performance during his time involved with the league.

"It feels pretty good," Hamilton said of his accomplishment. "You work so hard and so long to get to your goal and finally get it. And you get so many strikeouts and it just feels really great."

The young ballplayer has a fastball, changeup and knuckleball, but "I don't really throw [the knuckleball] much," he said.

Hamilton relied on his fastball in Saturday's game. He throws a baseball 55 to 60 miles per hour.

"I just keep on going as I am," Hamilton said of Saturday's experience. "I mean all of my teammates when I'd get back to the dugout were saying 'good job' and stuff but they really didn't say anything about the no-hitter."

When Hamilton went to the mound for the fifth inning, he was aware what was going on.

"I was just thinking to keep on doing the same thing," he said. "It was the top of the lineup so I was a little bit nervous, but I got back in focus and I put them down."

His coach, Steve Ames, said he could keep the game ball.

Hamilton also tossed a no-hitter two years ago against Fisher Engineering. He had 15 strikeouts in that game.

Typical regulation Little League games are six innings, but this one was shortened due to the mercy rule, which includes one team being ahead by 10 runs or more after four innings.

While high totals of strikeouts are not uncommon in Little League games and no-hitters are recorded from time to time throughout a season, what is not common are perfect games, with the lack of walks or errors being the key components in youth baseball leagues for those ages 9 to 12.

Vinalhaven does not have a middle school team, but "the high school coach said I could practice with them. And then when I'm in eighth grade I can play high school."

The youngster said his mom is going to look into a league for him to play in between Little League and high school.

The talented young island baseball player is the son of Kelsey Barker and Jason Hamilton.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at knox.villagesoup.com/join.
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at knox.villagesoup.com/donate.
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.
Note: If you signed up using our new subscriber portal, your username is the email address you registered with and your password is in all caps