If you had to pick a theme song to describe Feliberto Sanchez's night on Tuesday, it could be Meatloaf's "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad."
The Phillies prospect hurled five no-hit innings as Short-Season Williamsport defeated Mahoning Valley, 8-3, at Eastwood Field.
Sanchez (1-4) walked two batters and struck out three in his fourth start for the Crosscutters. He retired the first 11 Scrappers in order before walking Leo Castillo with two outs in the fourth inning. Pitching on three days' rest, Sanchez exited with fewer than 60 pitches under his belt.
"He did a really good job. He kind of scuffled his first few starts of the year, but he kept the ball down," Williamsport pitching coach Aaron Fultz said. "We made a couple of plays for him early and he just went from there. He did a heck of a job."
The win was Sanchez's first in the New York-Penn League. The 20-year-old right-hander had lost his first four decisions and entered Tuesday's contest with a 9.00 ERA.
"Tonight, two of the first three pitches were strikes," Fultz said. "He was ahead of almost every hitter. It puts the hitters on the defensive. It completely changes the at-bat. Strike one is huge, but if you have two strikes on a hitter, the averages go down 150, 200 points. That's a really big swing."
Sanchez brought his ERA down to 6.75. The hope is that the native of the Dominican Republic will continue to go after hitters like he did against the Scrappers.
"Just to remember the aggressiveness," Fultz said. "Understand how the hitters reacted when he was ahead in the count and pitch like that from here on out. If you pitch like that, you'll give up some hits, but they're going to be defensive and not get as good swings."
Mark Meadors followed Sanchez and issued one walk in two hitless innings. The 22-year-old right-hander has not allowed an earned run in four appearances, although Fultz said he did not have his best stuff on Tuesday.
"To be honest, he wasn't as good as he has been," the former Major Leaguer said. "His sinker was a bit elevated today and I've seen him much better, but he did a heck of a job without his great stuff tonight."
The Crosscutters' no-hit bid ended in the eighth, when Drake Roberts greeted Calvin Rayburn with a leadoff double. Rayburn walked a batter and allowed a run before Kelvi Rojas surrendered two runs on three hits in the ninth.
Derek Campbell, a 20th-round pick in this year's Draft, homered, doubled twice and drove in four runs for Williamsport, while Cord Sandberg reached base twice and scored twice out of the leadoff spot.
Castillo slugged a solo homer for the Scrappers.