June 24, 2017

Justin Dillon voted ‘Best Male Athlete’ at Sac State

(Graphic by Vu Chau)

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Senior pitcher Justin Dillon took the honor of best Sacramento State male athlete after making history in his final season — throwing the first no-hitter in the baseball programs’ Division I history.

Dillon, who had two seasons ended by injuries during his tenure as a Hornet, pitched his historic performance in his second start of the season against Northern Kentucky on Feb. 23.

“I haven’t thought about (the no-hitter) in terms of the history of the school much yet,” Dillon said. “But as a young pitcher, it’s an accomplishment I’ve always dreamed of achieving. It is a special moment.”

In addition to his no-hit bid, Dillon has been the opening starter for each weekend series this season, striking out 76 batters in 75.2 innings of work. Outside of his performance on the mound, Dillon said he strives to be a great teammate and leader in his final year as a Hornet.

“I think back to my freshman year and think about being treated well by the returning guys,” Dillon said. “We all earn each other’s respect on the field. It makes the game better when we are all working for each other.”

Sac State freshman pitcher Parker Brahms, who often pitches the day after Dillon, credited him as a reliable teammate and leader in his first year of Hornet baseball.

“He has been great to me,” Brahms said. “When I was struggling in the fall, he would sit down and talk things out with me. He pushed me, was there for me and has been nothing but supportive for me all year.”

Dillon is expected to make his final start at John Smith Field on May 18 when the team returns home from a seven-game road trip.

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