Everything worked out for Jason Knapp on Tuesday afternoon -- except for the fact that his team lost.
Knapp turned in one of the most dominating performances in the nine-year history of the Lakewood BlueClaws, striking out 14 batters and allowing just one hit over seven shutout innings. The 18-year-old flamethrower had to settle for a no-decision, however, as the visiting Lake County Captains eked out a 2-0 victory.
Knapp whiffed at least one batter in each of the seven innings he worked, and struck out the side in both the third and fourth frames. Chris Nash's second-inning single was the only base hit the 6-foot-5 right-hander allowed, although he did plunk three batters and walk one.
"I was on the same page with my catcher [Travis D'Arnaud], and felt like I had pretty good command," said Knapp. "I had three pitches that were working for me, so that definitely helped. [Lake County] has a good lineup, and last time I faced them [April 15], they put some good swings on the ball and I gave up some runs. Today I came out on top more often than not."
Knapp's 14 strikeouts tied Lakewood's all-time franchise record, which was first set by Robinson Tejeda in 2001. The 2008 second-round Draft pick, whose 30 strikeouts lead all of Minor League Baseball, has not picked up a victory this season, despite compiling a 1.96 ERA over 18 1/3 innings pitched.
"Last week, we scored runs like crazy, but no team is going to score five, six, seven runs every game," said Knapp. "Sometimes things don't work out, and it's just something you have to deal with."
After getting lifted in the sixth frame in each of his first two starts, Knapp hurled a career-high seven innings Tuesday, throwing 97 pitches, just shy of his 100-pitch limit.
"In the [Gulf Coast League] last year, I never made it past the fifth," said Knapp. "But in high school, I threw seven innings every game, so today felt more like the norm. I didn't feel like I was overextending, though I may have lost a little velocity later in the game. But I hope they keep raising my pitch count, and I can pitch deeper and deeper into games."
Ryan Bergh (0-1) came on in relief of Knapp and pitched a scoreless eighth before running into trouble in the ninth. Karexon Sanchez hit a one-out single, and scored on Nate Recknagel's double. Chris Nash then followed with an RBI single.
The Captains' pitching staff also enjoyed a dominant afternoon. Starter Joseph Mahalic allowed just two hits over five scoreless innings, and David Roberts followed with 2 2/3 shutout frames. Steve Smith (1-1) pitched the final 1 1/3 innings en route to his first win of the season.
Benjamin Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.