Karnos first Alaskan since 2009 to pitch all 9 innings at D1 level

May 9, 2016

Max Karnos baseball

Max Karnos

Sacramento State pitcher Max Karnos of Anchorage didn’t just throw his first 9-inning complete game over the weekend.

It was the first time in seven years that an Alaskan went all nine innings in a NCAA D1 game.

The junior right-hander pitched a 3-hit shutout in an 8-0 win over Utah Valley, facing just one batter over the minimum.

“I was getting ahead of a lot of batters and they were a really aggressive team, so early in counts they were getting out,” Karnos told me.

He walked one and allowed three singles, each of which was erased on double plays the following batter.

He got the job done on just 94 pitches.

“I wasn’t tired at all. I could have thrown a couple more innings,” Karnos said with a laugh.

“It felt awesome. It’s always nice to be able to finish the games I started.”

It was his second complete-game shutout of the season, although the first one April 16 was cut short after eight innings by the mercy rule in a 10-0 win over Chicago State.

Plus, he said, the coaching staff had planned to pull him in the ninth inning anyway.

Karnos is the first Alaska pitcher since Sitka’s Matt Way with Washington State in 2009 to throw a 9-inning complete game at the D1 level. Way fired a 5-hitter in a 7-2 win over UCLA.

Other Alaska pitchers in the club are Anchorage’s Corey Madden with Saint Mary’s in 2006, Anchorage’s Anton Maxwell with Oregon State in 2005 and Juneau’s Dylan Hickey with Dayton in 2003.

Karnos [5-3] is tied for the most wins on his team. He also has the most innings [70.1] and lowest ERA [2.94].

In fact, his ERA is a full run better than the team average [4.24].

“Compared to the first day this season I am way better,” Karnos said. “I think it’s a combination of getting on the same page as my pitching coach who calls pitches and just settling down and pitching to my strengths.”