BETHESDA, Md. – Gallaudet University pitcher Brandon Holsworth (Beal City, Mich.) became the first deaf player to participate in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL) All-Star Game as he suited up for the North team on Wednesday, July 16, at Shirley Povich Field.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander pitched a scoreless sixth inning as he retired the first two batters on comebackers to the mound and struck out the last batter as he threw 11 pitches. The three batters faced all hail from Division I colleges (University of Texas, College of Charleston, Saint Joseph's University). Holsworth, one of three Division III players in the game dominated by Division I players, kept the no-hitter intact for the North squad as they clung to a 1-0 lead heading into the seventh inning. The South ended the no-hit bid in the seventh and scored twice to secure the win, 2-1, with just two hits recorded. Several baseball scouts were in attendance for the game.
"I made the team because of my talent not because I am deaf," said Holsworth. "This has been a great experience for me."
Holsworth, a member of the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, entered the game with a 3-2 record, 2.38 earned run average (ERA), 34 innings pitched (IP) and 15 strikeouts. His win total and six games started were tied for second in the league while his ERA and IP rank in the Top 15. Holsworth, a rising senior at GU, had won three of his previous five starts.
"One of my friends texted me and told me I made the All-Star Team," explained Holsworth during an interview prior to the start of the All-Star Game about being selected. "I couldn't believe it. When I got to the ballpark, later that day, my team congratulated me on making the All-Star Team."
The CRCBL season ends the last week of July. The T-Bolts entered the All-Star break with an 11-19 overall record and had an outside shot to make the playoffs.
Update (7/26/14): The T-Bolts concluded the 2014 season with a 13-27 record as they went 2-8 in the final 10 games of the season. The team finished tied for last and missed the playoffs. Holsworth finished the season with a 3-2 record, 2.16 ERA, 10 games played, seven games started, 41.2 IP, 20 strikeouts, 13 walks and one save. He went 2-for-4 at the plate, scored a run and stole one base. Gallaudet teammate Danny O'Donnell (Olney, Md.), also a member of the T-Bolts, finished the season with a 2-0 record, 3.04 ERA, seven games, four games started, 23.2 IP, 16 strikeouts and 12 walks.