06/26/2015 01:09 EDT | Updated 06/25/2016 01:12 EDT

Tiny California baseball team makes history with first openly gay professional player

SONOMA, Calif. - The first openly gay professional baseball player to come out publicly while still active in the sport has pitched a shutout game.Sean Conroy led the Sonoma Stompers to a 7-0 victory Thursday night, during his first start on the mound for the 22-man independent team.The 23-year-old right hander struck-out 11 players and allowed three hits over nine innings.When a ground ball ended the game, Conroy's teammates jogged over to hug him while the crowd of about 300 spectators cheered wildly.Thursday night was gay pride night at Arnold Field, the Stompers' modest home field.Conroy has been playing with the team since the end of May, but agreed to come out publicly in time for the event.