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A Perfectly Grey Day

Needing just one more out to complete a perfect game on Friday night, Kane County's Connor Grey fell behind Louis Boyd, 2-0. For the first time all night, he began to feel some trepidation.

After regouping himself he was able to throw a couple of strikes to get back into the count but he was not out of the woods yet.

Grey threw his 100th pitch of the night. Boyd sent it to right fielder Stephen Smith and a moment later, Grey's teammates were sprinting toward the mound, eager to do what baseball players do when one of their own accomplishes something extraordinary.

Grey fanned eight, threw 70 pitches for strikes and induced eight ground-ball outs in the Cougars' 5-0 victory over Clinton at Ashford University Field. It was the Midwest League's first perfect game since Burlington's Chris Coughlin's beat Beloit on June 30, 2004.

His team would give him a five-run lead in the first, Grey needed seven pitches to register his first three outs. The second inning proved tricky for the 23-year-old, who overcame a pair of three-ball counts to post another zero. He regained his form in the third, throwing nine pitches to get through the Lumberkings lineup for the first time.

After retiring Boyd, thoughts of perfection began to creep into the upstate New York native's mind. "Once I got through the lineup again, I started to realize it," Grey said. "I was like, 'Oh, I got through the lineup again and I think I'm perfect.'"

Grey struck out Jhombeyker Morales on four pitches to begin the ninth. He fell behind Nick Thurman, 0-1, but threw three straight strikes to record his eighth punchout.

Five pitches later, the party started.



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