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First openly gay player K's 11 in Stompers' win

Sean Conroy made a statement just by doing his job on Thursday night.

Conroy, believed to be the first active openly gay player in professional baseball history, threw a shutout for the Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs.

Conroy struck out 11 batters and led Sonoma to a 7-0 victory over the Vallejo Admirals on Thursday night, a mere matter of hours before the Unites States Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states in a landmark decision.

Conroy celebrates with teammates following the win. (James Toy III)

"It's something that I've wanted to do for the last few years, playing through college ball, seeing it as an opportunity to represent the cause and help young people in whatever way I can," Conroy told about his decision to come out publicly. "From the start, all of my teammates have been very supportive. It's great to have them have my back in the field and in the dugout. It's amazing.

"All of the fan support was overwhelming -- the rainbow socks, wristbands, arm sleeves. It was just incredible."

The 23-year-old never allowed a runner to get past second base and never had an inning with more than one runner on base at a time. Conroy's 11 strikeouts were one shy of a team record, and he threw 140 pitches in the victory. Conroy told reporters after the game that the whole day was a blur.

"I still haven't been able to process it," said Conroy. "After the final out, I just wanted to celebrate with my teammates, like we always have."

Conroy, a native of Clifton Park, N.Y., pitched for Division III Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he went 6-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 2015, his senior season. Conroy logged a 1.29 ERA as a junior and a 1.81 mark as a sophomore. This year, prior to turning pro, he was named the Liberty League Pitcher of the Year.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for