Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris deliver division to Dunedin Blue Jays


The Dunedin Blue Jays have ridden great pitching all season on their way to the top of the Florida State League North standings. It was only fitting that they finished off their division crown with two great pitching performances we well.

The D-Jays clinched the title on Thursday night with a double-header sweep of the Cubs, largely on the backs of their two starters, Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris.

Boyd took the hill in the first game and was phenomenal, taking a no-hitter into sixth inning before surrending a solo home run to Wes Darvill of the Cubs. However, Boyd would wrap things up quickly from there, throwing a complete-game 2-hitter, while allowing one run with two walks and three strike-outs in the 5-1 D-Jays win.

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His offense was paced by a pair of home runs and a 2-run double. Marcus Knecht got things started in the first inning with a 2-run double, scoring Dwight Smith Jr. and Dalton Pompey with the games first runs. Knecht would loom large in the latter half of the game as well, knocking one out of the park on the backside of the back-to-back with K.C. Hobson in the fifth inning. Peter Mooney would also add an RBI double in the fifth.

The second game of the double-header didn’t start any better for Daytona, as they had to face another tremendous lefty in Daniel Norris, who took Boyd’s performance as a challenge and tried to one-up it.

Norris would shut-out the Cubs for five innings, allowing just a single hit while walking a pair and striking out three. Overall on the afternoon, Norris would allow just one runner into scoring position.

He was relieved by Tony Davis, who managed just two-thirds of an inning, surrendering a pair of runs on a lead-off triple by Gioskar Amaya and a double by Zeke DeVoss, who would come around to score on a sac fly by Albert Almora. However, Wil Browning and Danny Barnes would come in to mop-up the mess and close out the final inning and a third.

The D-Jays again got on the board in the first thanks to a two-run home run from Knecht, who also added a sac fly later in the game for the 6-RBI day. Gustavo Pierre and Emilio Guerrero would also add RBI knocks on the day, and Dalton Pompey would notch a two-hit, two-SB day to close out the first half of the season.

The D-Jays finished 4.5 games ahead of the Lakeland Flying Tigers, and the division win was mostly due to solid pitching. Dunedin lead the Florida State League with a 2.55 ERA during the first half of the season, paced by Norris (6-0, 1.22 ERA), Matt Boyd (5-1, 0.55), and Taylor Cole (5-2, 2.19).