After the rain chased Kannapolis and West Virginia back to their respective clubhouses, Intimidators right-hander Thaddius Lowry ducked out with conditioning coordinator George Timke for his usual poststart workouts. He knew the game was over when he heard his teammates come running.
At that point Lowry realized he had thrown a complete-game no-hitter in his fourth full-season start.
"I wasn't sure about anything," the White Sox right-hander said. "I didn't have any idea until everyone ran inside and said the game was over."
The 19-year-old tossed five no-hit innings for Class A Kannapolis in a rain-shortened 3-0 victory over West Virginia on Tuesday. He struck out five and walked two while picking up his first South Atlantic League win.
Although it was just five innings, Lowry (1-3) was credited with a complete-game no-hitter. It was the first individual no-hitter by an Intimidator since Brian Miller on June 10, 2003 vs. Greensboro.
"I bet it's more glorious to have a nine-inning no-hitter, more official from baseball standards than five innings," Lowry said. "But it's great. I got my team the win tonight. It was a great experience."
The 2013 fifth-round pick struck out Pirates' No. 9 prospect Harold Ramirez to start the game, but then No. 16 JaCoby Jones reached on a throwing error by Kannapolis second baseman Christian Stringer. Lowry got No. 7 Reese McGuire to fly out to center, then picked Jones off first base.
The next three innings he threw were perfect with four strikeouts. In the fifth, Lowry issued consecutive one-out walks to Erich Weiss and No. 13 Wyatt Mathisen, but then induced flyouts from Chris Diaz and Elvis Escobar.
Rain began to sprinkle around the end of the fifth and quickly gave way to a heavy downpour. The tarp was pulled on Appalachian Power Park prior to the start of the sixth, and after a 32-minute delay, the contest was called.
For Lowry, the outing was a nice reversal after allowing six earned runs over 1 2/3 innings at Hickory on May 28. The right-hander said the biggest difference Tuesday was command of his fastball and changeup, something he credits to a more relaxed mental approach.
"When I stay smooth and relax, my fastball tends to be faster," he said. "When I'm trying to muscle up and stuff, usually my fastball stays up and my velocity goes down."
Lowry is relatively new to the mound. He was primarily a catcher at Spring High School in Texas until after his junior year, when he transition to the mound partially at the behest of scouts who were encouraged by his arm strength.
"I started getting a little feel and my velocity started going up," he said. "[Scouts] said I should stick with starting pitching as my main position."
He showed enough promise to go in the fifth round of the 2013 Draft. The 6-foot-4 righty went 3-5 with a 5.48 ERA in 15 appearances with Rookie-level Bristol after signing, showing good heat but walking 22 batters in 44 1/3 innings.
The White Sox gave Lowry some extra time in extended spring training this year to work on his command, and Lowry thinks he's made progress. He isn't lacking for stuff, churning his fastball up to 95 mph Tuesday and hitting 97 in Spring Training.
Lowry considers his second-best pitch to be his changeup, which was especially effective Tuesday.
"The changeup was staying down and tailing really good," he said. "It wasn't running up or anything. That's what usually gets hit, is if I leave that up."