Zack Erwin came into Wednesday's start wanting to pitch well enough to keep his team in the Midwest League playoff hunt. By the end of the night, he found himself at the back end of a mad dash to the mound.The A's left-hander combined with Joseph Camacho on Class A
Zack Erwin came into Wednesday's start wanting to pitch well enough to keep his team in the Midwest League playoff hunt. By the end of the night, he found himself at the back end of a mad dash to the mound.
The A's left-hander combined with Joseph Camacho on Class A Beloit's first nine-inning no-hitter in 21 years as the Snappers beat Quad Cities, 3-0, on Wednesday at Pohlman Field. It was Beloit's first no-hitter of any kind since Dan Osterbrock tossed a seven-inning gem on May 1, 2010 against Wisconsin. Jason Dawsey pitched the Snappers' last nine-inning no-no on July 26, 1996 against Burlington.
Erwin (6-4) worked the first six innings, walking one batter and striking out four. The 2015 fourth-round pick faced the minimum while allowing two baserunners. He picked off Luis Payano in the second after he reached on an error by shortstop Edwin Diaz, then erased a leadoff walk to Astros No. 9 prospectDaz Cameron in the fifth by getting Josh Rojas to line into a double play.
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"I was throwing strikes. That helps a lot," Erwin said. "I was getting ahead and then I was able to throw whatever pitch I wanted to late in the count."
After 79 pitches, including 50 strikes, the Clemson product turned the no-hit bid over to Camacho. While Erwin went into the clubhouse to complete his post-start routine, Camacho worked around an by first baseman Luke Persico in the seventh and a walk to Payano in the eighth to send the River Bandits into the ninth without a hit.
"He's a good pitcher. He's got good stuff," Erwin said of Camacho. "He has a little funky sidearm [delivery]. I wasn't really thinking about [the no-hitter], I was just hoping we won. We had a three-run lead when I left, so I was just hoping the team held on and got the win."
When Erwin returned to the dugout at the start of the ninth, no one on the bench wanted to acknowledge what was unfolding.
"It was pretty normal, or at least no one was acting like something was going on," he said. "Everybody that plays baseball is superstitious, so they were trying to not think about it, I guess. But everybody knew, for sure."
The 23-year-old watched as Camacho retired Kristian Trompiz on a ground ball to third and struck out Abraham Toro-Hernandez. With the crowd buzzing, the right-hander got Chuckie Robinson to lift a fly ball into the glove of right fielder JaVon Shelby to complete the second no-hitter in the Midwest League this season.
"Everybody got pretty excited," Erwin said. "They got to two strikes on the last hitter and the crowd started to get into it. He fouled a couple off and then put one in play and it was just a fly ball to right field and everybody knew that should be it."
The players on the Snappers bench squeezed through the narrow exit from the dugout and rushed to join the celebration on the mound. Erwin arrived last, having gotten caught at the back of the scrum. The Illinois native said it was partly by design.
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"I wanted to be the last one there," he said with a laugh. "I wanted to let Camacho get all the slaps and the pushing and the water cooler. I'll just get out there last and give him the high-fives."
Camacho was credited with his first save since Aug. 22, 2016 in the Rookie-level Arizona League.
The Snappers gave Erwin a quick lead as Mike Martin led off the bottom of the first and took third on an error by first baseman Troy Sieber. Josh Vidales followed with an RBI single. Beloit added two insurance runs in the sixth on an RBI single by J.C. Rodriguez, who scored on a double by Edwin Diaz.
Quad Cities starter Ronel Blanco (5-4) yielded an unearned run on two hits and five walks while striking out one over 4 2/3 frames to take the loss.
Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21.