Aaron Poreda put together a dynamite rookie campaign in 2007. So the bar definitely has been raised for '08.
Poreda took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and struck out a season-high seven over seven frames as the Winston-Salem Warthogs one-hit the Lynchburg Hillcats in an 8-1 victory Tuesday at Calvin Falwell Field.
The 2007 first-round draft pick allowed only a two-out walk in the third before taking the mound in the sixth. Lynchburg's Albert Laboy ended the bid by launching his first home run of the year over the left-field wall to lead off the frame. Poreda wasn't hanging his head afterward.
"I was definitely aware of the no-hitter," he said. "I had a big lead and threw a fastball, but he just clocked it out of the park."
It was the only hit the 21-year-old left-hander allowed as he fanned the final two batters of the inning before handing the ball over to reliever Matt Davis, who tossed two perfect innings to nail down the win.
Poreda (2-2) went 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 12 games -- including eight starts -- for the Great Falls White Sox in the short-season Pioneer League a year ago. He struck out 48 and walked 10 over 46 1/3 innings.
"I have real high expectations for myself, because the Chicago White Sox have high expectations of me," he said. "They're probably going to want me to pitch in the big leagues some day. I think I've surpassed a lot of their expectations. I don't think they saw me developing as fast as I am."
After getting his feet wet in Rookie ball, the San Francisco native knew it was important to further develop secondary pitches.
"Last year I worked a lot on the slider and changeup and using different pitches in different counts," Poreda said. "The hitters are more aggressive here and know the strike zone better. Pitches down the middle will get hit, so you can't make too many mistakes."
John Shelby capped a five-run fourth with a two-RBI double and C. J. Retherford delivered a two-run two-bagger in the fifth. Brandon Allen had two hits and scored twice for the Warthogs (13-15), who have won three of the past four.
Starter Jared Hughes (1-4) allowed five runs -- one earned -- on five hits and three walks with one strikeout in four innings for the Hillcats (13-18).