Scott Snodgress didn't make many mistakes Monday night, but there is one thing he would do differently if he had the chance.
He would make a different pitch to the Lookouts' Matt Wallach on an 0-1 count with one out in the ninth inning.
"I'd thrown him so many fastballs earlier in the game," Snodgress said. "Obviously in hindsight, I wish I would have thrown him an off-speed pitch."
The No. 6 White Sox prospect gave up only that single to Wallach over 8 1/3 innings, with the lone hit coming on the last pitch he threw in Double-A Birmingham's 7-0 win over Chattanooga. Snodgress, who improved to 10-7 with a 4.09 ERA with the victory, struck out five and walked three. He threw 105 pitches -- 64 for strikes.
"It was an incredible feeling," Snodgress said. "I wish that I could have finished it, but I guess that's how it goes."
He'd previous thrown six innings of a combined no-hitter for Rookie-level Casper on Aug. 18, 2011, three months after he was drafted out of Stanford University in the fifth round. In his three July starts this season, the 23-year-old lefty has allowed one run over 21 1/3 innings.
"I don't feel like I'm doing anything too drastically differently. I try to take the same approach and go out there every day and try to get better and work hard," he said. "I guess it's all just coming together. I'm continuing to focus on the little things like commanding my pitches and working down in the zone. When you do that, it pays off eventually."
In Monday's game, Snodgress retired the first five hitters he saw before second-ranked Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson worked a seven-pitch walk. Snodgress erased him with a pickoff move that caught Pederson in a rundown.
"I guess that's another thing I've been working on since last year with my pitching coach at Winston-Salem, J.R. Perdew. I worked hard to get better at it, and it's paying off as you see from tonight," said Snodgress. "It's interesting too, the way little mechanical changes I've made here with my pitching coach Britt Burns have made the pickoff move better. A couple changes we've made have made the move more deceptive."
He added getting Pederson out in the rundown reminded him how much he could count on the other eight Barons on the field.
"That was one of many nice moments tonight. It was incredible to have such great defense behind me," he said. "Trayce Thompson made a great catch in center field, and [second baseman Tyler] Saladino made a diving stop on a ball hit up the middle. Dan Black at first base ... the whole team was making great plays."
Pederson worked yet another seven-pitch walk eight outs later.
He was a little bit of a thorn in Snodgress' side, the southpaw said. "For whatever reason, I wasn't commanding my fastball too well against him. He's definitely a great hitter. I guess it was a combination of those two things."
Snodgress cruised over the next three innings, working around a leadoff walk to Rafael Ynoa in the seventh. He said he couldn't remember coming to the realization at any particular point that he was in the middle of a special performance.
"I can't really put a finger on it. I didn't really want to dwell on it being a no-hitter," Snodgress explained. "If the idea surfaced, I shut it out right away and went back to focusing on pitching."
His teammates weren't afraid to sit near him or chat with him between innings either.
"That's kind of because of my choosing. I'm someone who likes to talk to his teammates throughout the game,"he said. "I'm pulling for them when they're hiitting, and I talk to my infielders a lot. Saladino especially, I talk to about the way I'm going to pitch to guys and kind of bounce ideas off him."
When Wallach hit the liner into shallow right field, the hurler knew he'd lost the no-hit bid on a deserving effort, even if he chose the wrong pitch to throw.
"I mean, he put a good swing on it," Snodgress said. "I commend him for the hit."
J.R. Ballinger came on in relief, and he finished the game with two pitches.
No. 17 White Sox prospect Marcus Semien smacked two homers and collected four RBIs for Birmingham.
"Semien is one of my favorite guys on the team because of the way he plays every single game, day in and day out, as hard he can. He's like so many guys on the team that way, but he's the perfect example," Snodgress said. "Whether he's getting out or hitting the ball out of the park, his attitude and his approach stays the same. I was really excited to see him hit two home runs tonight."