Seth Frankoff just wanted to pitch deep into the game. He wound up going the distance.
Frankoff tossed his first career shutout -- a seven-inning one-hitter -- as short-season Vermont blanked Connecticut, 4-0, on Monday night.
Frankoff (5-3) struck out seven and did not walk a batter. In fact, the Tigers had only baserunner all night -- Jeff Holm, who bunted for a single with one out in the top of the second inning. He stole second base but was stranded there.
The A's 27th-round pick in 2010 out of UNC-Wilmington, who celebrated his 23rd birthday Saturday, retired the last 17 hitters he faced.
"We're in a pretty tight race with Connecticut, so I wanted to pitch deep in the game and give my team a chance to win," Frankoff said.
"What I was happiest about was that I didn't walk anybody," he added. "I got a lot of quick outs the last couple of innings."
In his last outing, Frankoff fanned 10 in a 5-0 win over Hudson Valley. In his last two starts combined, Frankoff has allowed just four hits while striking out 17 in 13 1/3 scoreless innings. The streak has lowered his ERA to 2.55 -- sixth in the New York-Penn League.
The Raleigh, N.C. native shared credit with his teammates. "We had some guys make some great plays tonight," he said. "I was very fortunate to have the defense behind me. We played good baseball tonight up and down [the lineup]."
Frankoff and his batterymate were on the same page from the get-go. "[Catcher Nick] Rickles and I had a good gameplan. I threw mostly fastballs early in the game, then my cutter, changeup, and breaking ball. I worked up and down, in and out, and kept them from getting good swings on the ball. It was a mix of everything.
"I'm just trying to make quality pitches instead of perfect pitches," he added. "I'm taking it one pitch at a time. I'm not trying to do too much. I've been trying to force early contact. It's the reason for the success I've had the last few outings."
Rickles hit a first-inning home run to give Frankoff all the run support he needed. Vermont scored again in the third on a throwing error by Connecticut shortstop Eugenio Suarez, and tallied its last run in the fifth on an infield single by Michael Fabiaschi.