In the worst of conditions, Cody Dickson was able to flash his best stuff Saturday night and, in the process, earn his first professional victory.
The Pirates' fourth-round pick pitched five hitless innings, issuing just one walk while striking out five, as short-season Jamestown blanked Williamsport, 3-0, at Bowman Field.
Dickson did so on a wet night.
"It was raining and drizzling out here pretty much all game, so really, I was just attacking the hitters with all three of my pitches, getting ahead and letting the defense back me up. Everything worked out good," he said. "It was easy to get the fastball to go in tonight, it got a lot of soft ground balls and that really helped me out. Just kind of putting all of [my pitches] together really made it a fun game to pitch in."
It was Dickson's seventh start since Pittsburgh drafted him out of Sam Houston State last month. He hadn't earned a decision in his first six outings.
"I actually didn't realize [it was a no-hitter] until about the fourth inning," the 21-year-old left-hander said. "So far, I've been held to four innings every time and I've been working my way up. So I finally got out there for the fifth and kind of thought, 'Oh, look at what I've got going on here.'
"Our bullpen is pretty stacked and, all-around, our team is unbelievable, so it was fun. I think we only ended up giving two or three hits and still kept the shutout intact, so it was awesome. I wasn't mad about coming out."
Dickson's last two starts have seen him catch a groove. He hasn't allowed a run over nine innings, combining to allow two hits and two walks. Utilizing a changeup, curveball and a fastball that he said sits between 90-94 mph, he's built on what was an at times an erratic junior season at Sam Houston State.
He recorded a 4.26 ERA with 91 strikeouts over 95 innings for the Bearkats. But he also issued 51 walks.
With Jamestown, he's recorded a 3.09 ERA, 28 strikeouts and 11 walks in 23 1/3 frames.
"Our scouting department did such a good job with [Dickson]. He probably should have been drafted much higher," Jammers pitching coach Mike Steele said. "He has a lightning fast arm, feel for his off-speed stuff and an above-average breaking ball from the left side and room to grow. He's just really good. The last couple of years, I was in [Class A Advanced] with Bradenton and this guy's got the stuff that you see there, so there's a pretty good future on this kid."
Dickson (1-0) also said he feels he's quickly getting the hang of the pro game.
"The sequence of pitching is way different than in college, the placement is a lot more different. It's just different, pitching-wise," he said. "I've seen guys hit a homer off me because of a pitch I'd throw in college that isn't what you're supposed to throw here. [Those little things] we work on every day. There's a great coaching staff here that helps me get a little better each day and perfect my stuff."
Offensively, Adam Frazier went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored for the Jammers. Jin-De Jhang doubled twice and drove in a run, while Eric Weiss contributed three hits.