Jay Dahl Strikes out 17, Walks None, Yet Loses

July 25, 1963

"The Moultrie Colts split a doubleheader with the Brunswick Cardinals last night in Holmes Park.
In what was perhaps the best baseball of the season, Moultrie shutout the Cardinals 3 - 0 in the first game, and then dropped an extra-innings heart breaker 1 - 0 on a solo home run.
Big Frank Thomas hurled the Colts to victory in the first game with his one-hit pitching.
Outfielder Bob Walenczyk gave Thomas the hitting support he needed when he slammed a two-run homer for the Colts. It was his first home circuit clout and his fourth for the season.
Moultrie added another run in the fourth inning on a double by Jim Green and a single by Larry Howard.

The undisputed star of the second game was losing piutcher Jay Dahl. Making his first start in Moultrie, the rookie southpaw from Los Angeles technically hurled a perfect game.
In seven innings, he struck out 17 Cardinal batters. No one got to first base.
At the end of the scheduled seven innings, the game remained scoreless. Moultrie had collected three hits but were unable to score.
In the top of the eighth, a Cardinal reached first base on an error. Dahl retired the next man, and came out with his no-hitter still going.
With the first two men down in the top of the ninth, it looked as if Dahl had found a magic formula, but Cardinal outfielder Ron Courser broke the spell with a solo round tripper.
[Dahl] faced only 29 men in nine innings, allowed one run on one hit, and struck out 17.
That's great pitching in anyone's league."

Brunswick Cardinals ABRHRBI

Ron Courser rf 4 1 1 1
Don Davis cf 4 0 0 0
Dick Farrell ss 3 0 0 0
Fred Anthon 3b 3 0 0 0
Mike Hunter 1b 3 0 0 0
Francis Finn lf 3 0 0 0
Bill Damaska 2b 3 0 0 0
Roosevelt Spencer c 2 0 0 0
Tom Smith c 1 0 0 0
John Van p 3 0 0 0

Brunswick totals29 1 1 1
Moultrie Colt .22's ABRHRBI

Dennis Willett ss 4 0 1 0
Charles Murray rf 4 0 0 0
Ray Ferrand 3b 2 0 0 0
Ivan Murrell, cf cf 4 0 1 0
Bob Walenczyk lf 4 0 2 0
Jim Green c 1 0 0 0
Bob Rombach ph 1 0 0 0
Larry Howard, 1b 2 0 0 0
Ramon De La Cruz ph 1 0 0 0
Jerry Ellis 2b 3 0 0 0
Jay Dahl p 3 0 0 0

Moultrie totals29 0 4 0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Brunswick 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Moultrie 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

E     - Moultrie 1
DP  - None
LOB- Brunswick 1 Moultrie 7

Brunswick Cardinals IPHRERBBK

John Van (W) 9 4 0 0 5 6

Moultrie Colt .22's IP H R ER BB K

Jay Dahl (L, 1-1) 9 1 1 1 0 17

Just some notes: In the double header that lasted a total of 16 innings, Moultrie pitchers Thomas and Dahl struck out 24, while giving up a total of two hits. I know that Rocky Mount of the Carolina League once had back to back no-hitters, and of course the '86 Houston club wrapped Scott's no-hitter with a pair of two hitters, for four in three games, but this has gotta be right up there as far as low hits over consecutive games.

Besides the 17 K's, it's also worth emphasizing that the Brunswick nightcap was Dahl's first start. In fact, Dahl, who had been used in relief exclusively prior to this game, probably only got the nod cause there was a double header. You can be sure Dahl started the rest of the season. In fact, Jay didn't lose again that year. He finished 5 - 1 with a 1.42, which was second only to Mike Sloan of the Brunswick Cardinals in the four-team league.

Dahl followed up his non-no-hitter August 2nd with a win vs. the Waycross Braves. He gave up five hits and an earned run in five innings while striking out 9.

Using Bill James' Game Scores to evaluate this very well-pitched game, Dahl's effort, despite the loss he took, ranks very highly indeed, grading out to a 98, which basically means that Dahl's effort is tied for fourth most dominant performance in organizational history. Don Wilson, Benjamin Griggs, and Blake Green pitched games with better scores, and both Mike Scott's division-clinching no-hitter in 1986 and Dave Aloi's no-hitter pitched August 22, 1973 graded out equally well on this scale. When coming across this game here and there, you'll hear a lot of people referring to it incorrectly as a no-hitter; but the thing is, it was actually better than most no-no's.

Source: The Moultrie Observer July 26, 1963
Thanks to Faye Bridwell and the Museum of Colquitt County History,
whose latest Georgia-Florida League reunion was held Saturday August 1, 2003.

Thanks to John Bell, whose Georgia Class-D Minor League Baseball Encyclopedia
provided the fellow to whom Dahl lost the league ERA crown.

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