A moment of indecisiveness on Friday night wasn't the end of the world for Scott Snodgress. But it may have been the difference between a good night and an historic one.
The White Sox's No. 14 prospect combined with two relievers on a one-hitter as Class A Advanced Winston-Salem blanked Potomac, 6-0, at Pfitzner Stadium.
Snodgress (3-0) struck out five, walked one and allowed the Nationals' lone hit in the second inning en route to his third Carolina League victory and sixth overall this season.
"I was able to locate all my pitches -- fastball, curve, changeup," he said. "In any count, I felt like I kept them off-balance and put the ball in tough places for them to square it up."
The hit came after Snodgress hesitated to throw a curveball to Potomac's cleanup man, Kevin Keyes.
"I had a 2-2 count on Keyes and decided to go with a curve. My catcher [Kevan Smith] put down a curve, but in my head, I was thinking changeup," Snodgress explained. "I ended up nodding to the curve, but I wasn't convinced in the pitch."
Keyes didn't hammer the hanger down the line, he took it and forced Snodgress into a corner.
"I threw it up and away, he forced a 3-2 count, and I left a fastball up that he put a good swing on," said the 22-year-old left-hander.
That swing produced a leadoff double, although Keyes -- the first of six baserunners all night for Potomac -- was erased on a fielder's choice.
Snodgress pitched around four errors in his fourth start since a promotion from Class A Kannapolis. He threw away a pickoff attempt in the second but struck out Stephen King to strand a pair of runners, then pitched around a leadoff walk to Jeff Howell in the third and struck out King again to end the fourth after miscues put two runners on base.
Keyes reached in the sixth on a two-out error by shortstop Marcus Semien, but Snodgress popped up Rick Hague to end the inning and his night.
"I just don't really let it affect me too much," the Stanford product said of the errors. "You have to continue to pitch. I have complete confidence in my defense; if they make an error, I know they won't make it again. I know stuff like that happens, that's part of baseball, so you just keep pitching and try to pick them up. That's my mentality."
Terance Marin took over in the seventh and fanned two batters over two frames before Taylor Thompson struck out the side in the ninth to complete the one-hitter and Winston-Salem's Carolina League-leading 14th shutout.
Snodgress said he watched from the dugout after his night was over.
"Absolutely, I was rooting them on. I thought it'd be great if we could pull that [one-hitter] off," he said.
"I always want to go as many innings as possible. These guys we have coming in are really solid, I always have a ton of confidence in them. They did a great job, too, not giving up any hits, so it makes that one hit a little more painful, but that's baseball."
Snodgress was a fifth-round pick last year and went 3-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 16 outings for Rookie-level Great Falls in his first summer as a pro. He spent most of this season in the South Atlantic League, where he was 3-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 19 starts before getting promoted for his Dash debut on July 24.
The California native has been a model of consistency, holding opponents to three earned runs or fewer in 17 of his 22 starts across the two levels. Since joining Winston-Salem, he's recorded 26 strikeouts over 23 2/3 innings.
"I think [Carolina League batters] are more disciplined hitters at this level, a little more patient," he said. "They won't chase stuff as much. And really, for me, that's made me a better pitcher. Just attack the strike zone and get after them, and that has been good for me.
"I'm playing with a good club, with Winston-Salem, who can put up a lot of runs, who can back me up defensively. So I have a lot of confidence now because of that as well."
The Dash, who scored in the second and third, pulled away in the fourth when Smith hit a two-run homer, Juan Silverio doubled in a run and scored on Keenyn Walker's sacrifice fly.
For Snodgress, the win came after he allowed five runs over 5 2/3 innings in his last start against Potomac.
"I'm just trying to finish strong and take it one start at a time," he said. "And we'll see where that takes me."