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Converted reliever Ladeuth flirts with no-no08/28/2007 11:31 PM ET
By Michael Echan / Special to MLB.com
In his second start of the year, extending Tri-City's Carlos Ladeuth to seven innings would be a stretch. Having him take a no-hit bid into the eighth proved to be an unexpected bonus.
Ladeuth came within four outs of a no-hitter as the ValleyCats blanked visiting Vermont, 7-0, on Tuesday.
Ladeuth (1-4) was not expected to last that long against the Lake Monsters (33-32), but the Colombian-born right-hander was economical. He used just 96 pitches to get through a career-high 7 2/3 innings, striking out eight while allowing a walk and hitting a batter.
His no-no was broken up when Anthony Benner lined a 3-2 pitch up the middle with two outs in the eighth.
"Was it surprising to see him do this well? No," ValleyCats pitching coach Don Alexander said. "But was it impressive? Definitely. It was fun to watch him work because he was working quickly and was aggressive in the strike zone. I haven't seen the pitching chart just yet, but it's safe to say that he threw at least 65 percent of his pitches for strikes."
Ladeuth relied mostly on a lively low-90s fastball that he spotted well throughout the game, allowing him to set up his slider and a changeup Alexander deemed "definitely a plus-pitch" during the outing.
He recorded at least one strikeout in each of the first seven innings, including a pair of whiffs in the first. After hitting Michael Burgess with a pitch to start the second, Ladeuth retired the next 11 batters in order before Craig Stinson coaxed a two-out walk in the fifth.
The 3,255-strong crowd was on its feet in the eighth when Ladeuth came out to start the inning. After he surrendered the only hit of the game, fans gave the 23-year-old several standing ovations after he was taken out by manager Pete Rancont.
"Everyone can read the scoreboard, so everyone from the players to the fans knew what was going on," Alexander said. "There was a lot of disappointment. Carlos was disappointed, his teammates were disappointed and the fans were disappointed. But it was real nice seeing them congratulating him like they did."
Despite his 0-4 record coming into the game, Tri-City's coaches thought highly enough of his stuff and approach on the mound to try him out as a starter. Ladeuth lasted four innings in his first start Aug. 22 and gave up just one run on five hits, so Rancont and Alexander felt confident enough to send Ladeuth out again.
This was the second straight game in which the starter for the ValleyCats (23-41) took a no-hit bid deep into the game. Thomas Vessella took a no-no into the seventh inning against Aberdeen on Monday.
"I think we're spoiling the fans here. Now they're going to expect a no-hitter every night," Alexander joked.
Victor Garate relieved Ladeuth and got the final out in the eighth, and Luis Pardo retired the ninth in order to close out the one-hit shutout.
Matthew Cusick and Craig Corrado each had three hits for Tri-City. Corrado cracked a two-run homer and finished up with three RBIs and two runs scored. Cusick doubled, walked, scored twice and had an RBI.
Vermont starter Hassan Pena (4-5) was charged with five runs on seven hits, a walk, a balk and a hit batsman over four innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.