Jacob Schlesener had everything going for him in his most impressive outing as a professional Saturday night.
The Cardinals prospect recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts over six hitless innings before Rookie-level Johnson City dropped a 7-5, 12-inning decision to Princeton at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
It was a bounce-back effort for Schlesener, who retired only two batters and gave up three runs on three hits and two walks on July 26 against Burlington. Facing Princeton for the first time, the 20-year-old punched out the first five batters he faced and struck out the side again in the third. He did not allow a baserunner until Michael Smith drew a leadoff walk in the fourth.
Smith moved up on a passed ball, but Schlesener fanned two of the next three Rays to protect a 2-0 lead.
The left-hander struck out two more in the fifth but ran into trouble in the sixth. Seaver Whalen drew a leadoff walk and Andrew Miller hit a grounder to first. Luis Bandes stepped on the bag but threw wildly trying to complete a double play as Whalen raced to third. Smith drove in a run with a groundout before Schlesener struck out Zach Rutherford on his 88th and final pitch.
It was the longest outing for the Missouri native since the Cardinals selected him in the 12th round of the 2015 Draft. He had a pair of five-inning stints and set his previous career high with 10 strikeouts against Kingsport on July 16.
Juan Alvarez came on to pitch the seventh for Johnson City but lost the no-hitter on a two-out single by Moises Gomez, then surrendered a two-run homer to Trey Hair that got Princeton within 4-3. The Rays tied it in the ninth on a two-out RBI single by Bryce Brown and took the lead for good in the 12th as Devin Davis smacked a two-run homer.
Chase Pinder racked up a career-high five hits for Johnson City. A seventh-round pick in this year's Draft out of Clemson and the younger brother of A's infielder Chad Pinder, went 5-for-6 but struck out to end the game with two runners on base.
Bob Sutton is a contributor to MLB.com.
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