The first no-hitter in Helena Brewers' history had a distinctly Australian flair.
Aussies Simon Beresford and David Welch were among the four Brewers who combined on a no-hitter on Friday night as Helena rolled to an 11-0 victory over the Billings Mustangs.
Beresford and Welch were unlikely participants in Pioneer League history. A 32nd-round pick in the 2002 draft, Beresford had not pitched since June 5 due to a broken rib. Welch, selected by Milwaukee in the 20th round of the 2005 draft, had not pitched since July 12 due to a strained shoulder.
"It's absolutely amazing," Welch said. "Both of us, we hadn't pitched in (at least) three weeks. Both of us had come off the DL and we weren't expecting this at all. We were just trying to get back into it and all of a sudden, it was lights-out."
Making his Helena debut, Beresford set down all nine batters he faced, striking out three. He was followed by Richard Breshears, who walked four and fanned five over 2 1/3 innings.
Working with an 11-run lead, Welch cruised, retiring the five batters he faced.
"At that time, when I came in, we weren't thinking of a no-hitter," he said. "I just wanted to go in there, throw the ball over the plate. The lead helped a lot, it was amazing."
Welch, who attended Texarkana Junior College, had never been involved in a no-hitter.
"No one said a word," he said. "But everyone kind of had that look in their eye. In the eighth inning, with two outs, it was dead quiet (in the dugout)."
Wilfrido Laureano, who had replaced Welch to start the eighth, was two outs away from completing the gem when J.D. Roberts hit a liner to right field that was snagged by Freddy Parejo.
"It was an absolute rope," Welch said. "He really turned on it. I thought it was getting down. A ball hit straight at one of your outfielders, that's one of the hardest plays to do. But (Parejo) got it right by his hip. That was it right there, that saved it."
Laureano struck out Jose Ronda to end the game, setting off a celebration among the 1,008 at Kindrick Field.
"I'm stoked," said Welch, who was credited with the win, but won't have much time to celebrate with the Brewers slated to catch an early-morning bus for the ride to Billings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.