For the man at the helm of Class A Short Season Staten Island, it was only a matter of time before the performances he'd seen from his pitchers throughout a first-place season would come together to create something special.
It took four arms on Saturday night, but Jhony Brito, Alex Bisacca, Juan De Paula and Justin Kamplain combined on a no-hitter in the Yankees' 2-0 win over Tri-City at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
"It was good to see them do that tonight but ... basically they did what they've been doing the whole year," Staten Island skipper Julio Mosquera said. "They've been doing a really, really good job the whole year competing and making their pitches and going out there battling. We just got a little better performance today."
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In addition to boasting the best record in the New York-Penn League, the Yankees have allowed the fewest hits (254), runs (114) and earned runs (93). Staten Island also leads the league with a 2.53 ERA and ranks third with 342 strikeouts.
The Baby Bombers last recorded a no-hitter in last year's season opener against Brooklyn on a 10th-inning walk-off. In the midst of Saturday's gem, Mosquera said the team felt no jitters in the dugout and stayed calm through the final out.
"They were focused on winning the game -- that was the main thing," the first-year manager said. "They were very professional in the dugout and respecting the game and they just kept it quiet. That's how it goes in baseball when you have those types of games like that."
Staten Island allowed six baserunners on five walks and an error. De Paula (3-3) was responsible for four of the free passes but notched the win after striking out six over 4 1/3 innings. The 19-year-old right-hander issued his first three walks in consecutive innings, all with two outs and two strikes.
"Guys are going to walk guys. They're going to walk batters all the time," Mosquera said. "He kept trying to keep pitching and he was just missing but not by much. Obviously, he wasn't trying to give in to hitters, so that's what happens."
2017 Minor League milestones
Brito got the start and needed eight pitches to get through a perfect inning, fanning one, before being replaced by the 24-year-old Bisacca, who threw 14 pitches in the second.
"They mixed all their pitches. They kept attacking hitters, they never gave up and that was the main goal for them tonight," Mosquera said. "Make sure we mix everything in there and they worked it pretty good."
Brito has thrown 7 2/3 innings in three starts, giving up two unearned runs while fanning eight. In seven relief appearances, Bisacca has five strikeouts over 8 2/3 innings and has turned in just one outing this season in which he allowed a run.
De Paula struck out the side in the third and pitched around a two-out walk to Adrian Tovalin in the fourth by getting Colton Shaver to pop to third. The 19-year-old walked Carlos Canelon with two outs in the fifth and Yankees shortstop Wilkerman Garcia made a wild throw on a force attempt to allow Miguelangel Sierra to reach base before Andy Pineda bounced to second for the final out.
"They executed pretty good at utilizing their breaking ball pitches, and that was kind of like the plan tonight," Mosquera said. "They came in when they needed to come in to some hitters and they stayed away when they needed to stay away to some hitters. They mixed up the changeups and the breaking balls and the fastballs pretty well."
The native of the Dominican Republic issued another two-out free pass in the sixth, this time allowing Tovalin aboard before getting Shaver to go down looking on three pitches. De Paula was replaced by Kamplain in the seventh but not before he struck out Jake Adams and walked Kyle Davis.
Kamplain got Canelon and Sierra to go down swinging to end the seventh and worked a 1-2-3 eighth. The University of Alabama product walked Shaver with one out in the ninth but retired Davis on a popup to second to wrap up the no-hitter.
"You don't really want to talk about [the no-hitter] when you're in the middle of the game," Mosquera said. "When the last out was made, the boys jumped out there to celebrate. That was awesome to see."
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After striking out four over the final 2 2/3 innings on Saturday, Kamplain has a 2.16 ERA with 16 strikeouts and two saves in nine appearances.
The Yankees got on the board in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Krill. In the seventh, Cody Brown scored after Tovalin made a wild throw on Leonardo Molina's grounder.