Holmquist Tosses No-Hitter in First Full Game Return

(April 13, 2024 – Carrollton, TX) He’s been hit and miss for a while, following injury and time away from the game but on Saturday, Spirits (50+) starter, John Holmquist was fire. Holmquist pitched a shortened complete-game no-hitter against the Freebirds in DFW-ABA 50 League action, earning his first no no as a Dallas Spirit.

“Honestly, he was pitching so well, I’m not sure we even knew it was a no-hitter,” Spirits manager, Shawn Lee commented afterwards. “Couldn’t happen to a better guy. He’s team first, he puts in the work, and he never whines about a thing. He does his job and helps others be better. Super proud of him.”

The Freebirds were able to muster up a run in the first inning following the first play of the game. Holquist took Freebirds leadoff hitter, Enrique Estrada to a full count and Estrada was able to reach base due to a Spirits fielding error. That came back to haunt the ghosts after Holmquist hit Doug Poe with a pitch and then struck out Alan Dackiw. Holmquist then walked Kevin Cunningham, and two pitches later he beaned Hunter Freebird to allow Estrada to score. The Spirits defense was then able to flip a double-play to get out of the inning and the shaky start was quickly left behind as Holmquist was dealing for the remainder of the game.

Down 1 to 0, the Spirits put up a 6-spot in the bottom half of the inning after Chris Allen lead things off by also reaching on an error. Allen swiped second base and Dee Maulding followed by reaching on another Freebirds error that allowed Allen to score. Eric McPherson made it safe on the third straight Freebirds fielding error and Kirk Sipila followed by reaching on error number four to score Mauldin. Vince Parella walked and a single by Steven Nutt scored both McPherson and Sipila. Mike Sopocy flew out and after Nutt swiped second, Lee singled to score Parello. Kent Fischer followed with an RBI single tos core Nutt before Brian Hackney flew out to end the inning.

“Big John,” John Holmquist delivers from the mound in a previous game at Reverchon Park.

Holmquist set the Freebirds in order with a pair of strikeouts in the second and the Spirits added a snowman to boost their lead to, 14 to 1. Kevin Simmons singled and Shawn Hunt reached on an error. Allen then reached safely on a fielder’s choice that squeezed Simmons at third. Mauldin’s RBI single scored Hunt and after he stole second base, McPherson doubled tos core both he and Allen. Sipila lined an RBI single to score McPherson and after Parello flew out, Nutt singled home Sipila. Nutt moved to second on a wild pitch and a walk to Sopocy added another Spirits base runner. Stacy Scott singled home Nutt and Lee reached on an error to load the bases. Fischer singled home both Sopocy and Scott before Hackney grounded out to close out the second.

Holmquist walked Samuel Hiniu to start the third but then struck out Ben Smiley. Christopher Smith then hit a bouncing ball up the middle that Lee snared behind second base, making a quick flip to Sipila at second and Sipila relayed to Hackney at first to pick up the double-play.

The Spirits then added another pair of runs in the bottom of the third after Simmons drew a leadoff walk. Hunt flew out and Allen again reached on a fielder’s choice that cost Simmons another trip home after he was squeezed at second. Maulding added another single and a follow up single by McPherson loaded them for Sipila. Sipila promptly singled to score Allen and Parrello picked up the easy RBI after walking home Mauldin. Nutt flew out to end the inning with the Spirits up 16 to 1.

Holmquist again set the Freebirds in order the next frame, adding another strikeout and making easy work of each hitter he faced as the game continued. The Spirits made some noise in the fought after loading the bases but weren’t able to plate a runner after Sopocy, Lee, and Simmons each flew out. The score could have been much worse as the Spirits offense ended up stranding 10 base runners in just 4 innings of play.


Holmquist then added the exclamation point to his work by striking out both Wade Moore and Estrada before getting Poe to fly out to end the game.

“Nobody deserves it more than him,” Lee continued. “We had a bit of fun in the dugout prior to that last inning. In the top half of the fourth, we were considering bringing in Simmons for an inning of work. At that point, I checked the book and then turned to Sipila and carefully chose my words to explain that nobody had reached safely by hitting the ball. In baseball, we consider it a sin to say ‘no-hitter’ or anything related. Well, our chatty-Cathy of a player, Will Nash overhears this and says out loud, ‘Johnny has a no-no going?’ I obviously instantly turned and scream, ‘NO!!!’ trying to get him to shut up before the Baseball Gods catch on. No faster than I am trying to cover his pie hole, Rod Hicks knocks a soft line drive into right field for what appears to be a single. This is when you know it’s in the cards. Our right fielder, Eric McPherson got a great read on the ball and charged after it after contact. He quickly fielded the ball and made a strike to first to throw out Hicks to make it a 9-3 ground out. That ended up securing the no-hitter. What was even more difficult to do was hold off on explaining to the rest of the team why we were screaming and jumping up and down at what had just taken place until after the game finished. We didn’t want anyone to know until the deed was done. We’re super proud of John. I don’t care if it’s Little League or MLB, it’s a big deal to toss a no-no.”

The team returns to action next Saturday when they host the Cubs. First pitch is at 11:45AM on Field #11 at McInnish Park in Carrollton. Fans can click here for schedule details.

Game Box Score

Central Roofing and Restoration Players of the Game

John Holmquist (5 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 7 K – No Hitter)

Kent Fischer (2-2, BB, 3 RBI)

Eric McPherson (2-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI)