Wade Davis of the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays pitched a no-hitter and set a single-season franchise strikeout record on Thursday night. He just didn't win the game.
Davis tossed the Devil Rays' second no-hitter in as many weeks, but the Beloit Snappers took advantage of two errors and clinched a Midwest League playoff berth with a 1-0 blanking of Southwest Michigan in the first game of a doubleheader.
"This was the strangest game I've seen, absolutely," a dejected Davis said. "Nothing even compares."
It should have been a night for celebration for Davis (7-12), who walked two and struck out seven to bring his total to a team-record 165 over 146 innings.
"I had a good fastball and curveball today," he said. "I was doing a good job hitting my spots and the guys in back of me were doing their job and making the plays. It just came down to us executing at the plate and taking advantage of the chances we had."
The Devil Rays had no better chance than in the bottom of the seventh.
Catcher Chris Lopez led off and hit a dribbler back to the mound. Reliever Adam Hawes fielded the ball but slipped while throwing, sending the ball into the right field bullpen as Lopez raced to third. Eric Durante hit a high chopper over the mound to second base, but Lopez held at third as Durante was thrown out.
Neil Watson sent a blooper to shallow right field, where second baseman Juan Portes dropped it. Watson reached first, but Lopez stayed at third. One out later, Alex Jamieson walked on a full count, but Cesar Suarez -- a .342 hitter with runners in scoring position and two outs -- fouled out as Hawes registered his first Midwest League save.
The Snappers (37-28) scored in the fourth, when Davis dropped the underhanded toss from first baseman Rhyne Hughes, allowing Yancarlos Ortiz to reach. Ortiz stole second, continued to third on Lopez's throwing error and came home on Dwayne White's sacrifice fly to center.
Beloit's Yohan Pino (14-2) tied West Michigan's Burke Badenhop for the league lead with his 14th win. He scattered four hits and two walks over five shutout innings, striking out two.
Mike Woldarczyk and Celso Rondon combined on the last no-hitter for Southwest Michigan (28-37), a 12-0 rout of the Peoria Chiefs on Aug. 18.
The only other time a Midwest League pitcher threw a no-hitter and lost was May 3, 1972, when Clinton's Lawrence Bracco was beaten by Waterloo, 1-0, in a seven-inning game.