As the Chicago White Sox RBI scored the final run of their 11-1 win over Nobu Yamauchi RBI in six innings on the first day of the RBI World Series on Tuesday, reality slowly began to set in for Justyn Hart.
He had thrown a no-hitter for the White Sox.
“I didn’t really have a good reaction the first time they told me, because I was still in that phase of being locked in,” Hart said. “I was like, ‘Oh OK, so what.’ But when I had time to actually process it, it was like ‘Oh shoot, I did something pretty big.’”
The White Sox are one of eight teams participating in the senior division of the baseball version of the RBI World Series at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Fla.
Hart pitched six innings, giving up just one walk in the fourth inning. He struck out eight batters and allowed one unearned run. The lone walk of the game along with an error led to Yamauchi’s only run.
That walk also led to a wake-up call for coach Reginald Barker and other coaches for the White Sox.
“I don’t think any of us realized he had a no-hitter going until he walked the first guy,” Barker said. “Then me and Coach Troy were like, ‘I think he hasn’t given up a hit.” Then Coach Troy was like, ‘Don’t say nothing. We can’t say nothing yet.’”
Barker noted how good Yamauchi is and the importance of making a statement in the first game of the tournament. With that in mind, they gave the ball to Hart. Hart’s ability to use all four of his pitches helped Chicago start the tournament how Barker envisioned it.
“He did just that,” Barker said. “He came out and he delivered.”
While Hart was in the middle of his no-hitter, his team gave him a chain to wear. The chain typically goes to an offensive player, but the no-hitter led to Barker changing his mind.
“Dude, if he gets three up, three down, we gotta give the chain to the pitchers,” Barker said. “We gotta show the pitchers some love as well. It moved into an offensive and defensive type thing.”
Hart said that he was unsure why received the chain and was told just to pitch until the end of the game.
“What are y’all giving me this for,” Hart said. “He was like, ‘You’ll find out after the game.’ So I just wore it and just kept going until the end of the game.”
Chicago started the game with a five-run first inning and never looked back.
Hart, who is heading into his junior year of high school, is also a part of MLB Develops’ Breakthrough Series and Hank Aaron Invitational. With it being his fourth time playing at the JRTC, he said that the complex has become a second home for him.
Hart also mentioned how each of the events has helped him improve his skills and the importance of focusing on the little things in baseball.
“You get a lot of learning experience from past MLB players and also MLB coaches,” Hart said. “It’s just fantastic.”
Barker echoed Hart’s sentiment, mentioning how events like the Breakthrough Series, Hank Aaron Invitational and RBI World Series shows there’s more baseball outside of their hometown and helps the participants improve.
“We definitely appreciate MLB for the programs that they do as initiatives to play the game of baseball,” Barker said. “Those kids come back and they’re totally different kids once they come back from it. They seem to have more wit about themselves. They’re just better ballplayers once they come back from the initiatives.”
The White Sox will continue pool play on Thursday, and elimination play begins Friday. With their hot start to the tournament, Barker hopes the White Sox can stick with the formula that led to their 2-0 start.
“Keep our fingers crossed and hopefully the ball keeps bouncing our way,” Barker said. “Playing error-free baseball and timely hitting and good pitching. Those are the recipes to championships. Just trying to win championships, that’s all.”
Following are results for the Aug. 3 games at the baseball portion of the 2022 RBI World Series. Located at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Fla., the first week of the RBI World Series features 16 baseball teams from Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the following US cities:
• Hilo, Hawaii
• New Orleans
Aug. 3 results in the Senior Division, ages 16-18:
Cleveland Guardians RBI (2-1) defeats Paterson RBI (2-1) 6-5
Houston Astros RBI (2-1) defeats Nobu Yamauchi (Hilo, HI) RBI (1-2) 8-6
Miami Marlins RBI (2-1) defeats Pittsburgh Pirates RBI (0-3) 14-0
Chicago White Sox RBI (3-0) defeats Puerto Rico RBI (0-3) 11-6
Aug 3 results in the Junior Division, ages 13-15:
Atlanta Braves RBI (1-1) defeats Chicago White Sox RBI (1-1) 9-6
Helping Kids Round First (Nicaragua) RBI (2-0) defeats Williamsport RBI (0-2) 10-0
Chicago Cubs RBI (1-1) defeats Long Ball Durham RBI (1-1) 15-2
Nobu Yamauchi (Hilo, HI) RBI (2-0) defeats New Orleans Youth Academy RBI (0-2) 7-0
Long Ball Durham RBI (2-1) defeats Helping Kids Round First (Nicaragua) RBI (2-1) 6-5
Chicago White Sox RBI (2-1) defeats Nobu Yamauchi (Hilo, HI) RBI (2-1) 13-5
Chicago Cubs RBI (2-1) defeats Williamsport RBI (0-3) 8-1
Atlanta Braves RBI (2-1) defeats New Orleans Youth Academy RBI (0-3) 7-1