Snappers' Alcantara tosses one-hitter

A's prospect allows leadoff single, retires 21 of last 23 batters

Raul Alcantara needed 81 pitches to toss the first shutout of his career. (Dan Wiza/Beloit Snappers)

By Robert Emrich / Special to | May 10, 2013 7:25 PM ET

Call it the no-hitter that wasn't for Raul Alcantara.

The Athletics' No. 11 prospect tossed a seven-inning one-hitter Friday as Class A Beloit blanked Peoria, 4-0, to earn a split of its doubleheader.

Alcatara (5-1) allowed just a leadoff single to Breyvic Valera in the top of the first. He hit Carson Kelly with a pitch with one out in the second, then retired 11 batters in a row before Gerwuins Velazco reached on an error by third baseman Chad Lewis. The 20-year-old right-hander set down the final six batters, ending his night with 81 pitches.

"Raul has been working hard, working his fastball to both sides of the plate, and he was able to establish his fastball in and out and use his slider and his changeup to offset it," Snappers pitching coach John Wasdin said. "He was able to work speeds back and forth and force some swings."

Alcantara, who faced three batters over the minimum, was hit hard in his last start on Saturday, allowing five runs -- two earned -- on 12 hits over six innings against Lansing. Wasdin felt there was one key difference between that outing and Friday's gem.

"He was down in the zone more consistent tonight than last time," the former Major Leaguer said. "There are a lot of players in this league who will swing the bat and when the balls are higher they are going to put the ball in play. And that's when you're going to give up more hits. When the ball is down, you typically get the ground-ball outs and he was more successful with that tonight."

A native of the Dominican Republic, Alcantara has been solid in his second season in the Midwest League, going 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA in seven starts. He's allowed 44 hits, including two homers, over 41 1/3 innings. A year ago, he was 6-11 with a 5.08 ERA in 27 games for Burlington, the A's previous Class A affiliate.

"He's getting smarter. He's more mature, he has a lot of confidence out there and he's a hard worker," Wasdin said. "Tonight, it showed; the hard work he's done, it really showed tonight. He has very good movement with his fastball, he throws a four-seam and two-seam -- we call it a sinker. That slider, he has one where he throws it early in the count for strikes and another where he throws it a little harder to try to get hitters to chase.

"I think honestly if he just continued to do what he's doing and maintaining that confidence in keeping the ball down, he continues to do that stuff and keeps his confidence going, he shouldn't be here very long."

Alcantara was credited with a five-inning complete game in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League on June 16, 2010.

Matt Olsen went 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle, for Beloit. Lewis chipped in two hits and scored a run.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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