Three was the magic number for Charleston.
Three Yankees prospects -- Janson Junk, Austin DeCarr and Daniel Alvarez -- combined to throw the first Class A RiverDogs' nine-inning no-hitter in more than two decades en route to a 7-1 win over the Shorebirds.
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"My fastball was working really well early from both sides of the plate," said Junk. "Being able to expand on that with my curveball and changeup really helped. I give credit to my catcher [Eduardo Navas], he called a great game."
The accomplishment marked the first nine-inning no-hitter for the club since Jim Brower, currently an assistant coach with the Mariners, did it on Aug. 3, 1994 against Columbus. Jason Standridge threw the last no-no overall for the team in a seven-inning game on June 28, 1999.
"Janson pitched five and did really well," said DeCarr. "Navas behind the plate, he did great back there, like always. There were great plays around the infield, the biggest play in the outfield in the seventh, without them, it wouldn't have happened."
Junk (6-4) got the night started by striking out the side in the first inning after hitting Will Robertson by a pitch. After a clean second, Junk ran into trouble in the third.
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Ben Breazeale reached on a throwing error by Junk and Kirvin Moesquit walked. A wild pitch advanced both runners to scoring position and Robertson was hit for the second time to fill the bases. Junk got out of the jam by punching out Zach Jarrett and Seamus Curran for the second time.
The 22-year-old eased through the next two frames and was relieved by DeCarr.
"I didn't really notice, there were two innings that were pretty close," said Junk. "After I pitched, I went in the locker room just to get my cardio and arm care and came out and started to notice there were no hits. Couldn't think about it too much, you can't get ahead of yourself. But the last inning, that's when you feel the energy that we're going to do something here."
While the no-hitter wasn't discussed in the dugout, the right-hander was aware what was at stake when he entered the contest. In his three innings, DeCarr around two walks and a close call to left fielder Carlos Vidal off the bat of Moesquit in the seventh.
"Nobody really mentioned it," DeCarr said. "I heard a few people in the stands yelling out there was a no-hitter going on, I think they were trying to probably jinx it. Nobody talked about it until it was over. Early on, I was trying to find my location, and for me if it's not there, I try to sink curveballs. It all worked early on."
With a perfect ninth, Alvarez forced the final out on a hard-hit lineout by Ryan Ripken to right. The pitchers were quick to praise the defense for helping preserve the feat.
"You know they're going to put themselves on the line and risk everything," said Junk. "They were good hard-hit balls and our outfielders made good plays on them, so we're all happy about that."
Frederick Cuevas smacked a second-inning grand slam, the first of his career, and Navas homered to lead the offense for Charleston.