Pettit takes no-hit bid into eighth inning

O's prospect pitches 7 2/3 nearly perfect frames, yields homer

By Andrew Pentis / Special to | August 18, 2012 6:44 PM ET

What was still moving through the left arm, mind and body of Jake Pettit an hour after he was done pitching Saturday night?

"It's more excitement to go deep in a game," Pettit said by phone from Trenton. "To have that thrill of chasing the no-hitter."

The Orioles prospect took his no-hit bid into the eighth inning before allowing a solo homer as the Baysox held on for their sixth straight win, a 3-2 triumph over the Thunder.

In the first inning, Pettit (9-3) plunked designated hitter Luke Murton, who homered twice in Friday's series opener, on an inside fastball that kept cutting. Then he reversed course, retiring 18 consecutive batters.

"I was on a good track from the start," said Pettit, who threw 77 pitches through 7 1/3 innings and finished with 93 (63 for strikes). "I don't remember what inning it was -- the fourth or the fifth -- when I realized, 'I have a no-hitter going. Let's go for it.'"

A grasp of each of his four pitches -- fastball, changeup, curveball and slider -- paved the way.

"I was throwing 'em all for strikes," said Pettit, cutting down the reliance on his best offering.

It was a breaking ball that ended his bid for history.

"I tried to throw a back-foot slider and it Frisbeed up there," he said of his 2-2 pitch to shortstop Addison Maruszak that ended up clearing the center-field fence. "I was mad it happened, but I was trying to finish the game."

Pettit also walked a batter before giving way to closer Kyle Newby after a season-high 7 2/3 near-spotless innings.

Still, Pettit, a 42nd-round pick in the 2010 Draft, called Saturday night his best start as a pro.

The 25-year-old left-hander, who missed three weeks in May due to soreness in his elbow, has a 4.10 ERA in 22 games (19 starts) in his first season at Double-A.

Trenton counterpart Vidal Nuno (7-5) gave up two runs on seven hits over six frames.

Maruszak came to the plate with two outs in the ninth and the potential tying run at third base. Newby walked him before striking out Kevin Mahoney for his 16th save.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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