Threshers trio combines on no-hitter

Anderson pitches four innings in FSL debut before rain delay

Left to right: catcher Austin Bossart and pitchers Drew Anderson, Will Morris and Victor Arano. (Clearwater Threshers)

By Tyler Maun / MiLB.com | July 10, 2016 4:47 PM

It wasn't quite the fast-forward feature on "MLB The Show," but Drew Anderson headed to the clubhouse after a rain delay cut short his Florida State League debut after four innings on Sunday. And when he returned to the dugout a few innings later, the no-hitter he'd started was six outs from completion.

"After the fourth inning, I was in the clubhouse doing my arm care and I came out in the bottom of in the eighth," he said. "I was like, 'Wow. All right, Will.'"

Anderson set the tone with four hitless innings in his Class A Advanced debut and Will Morris and Victor Arano finished off Clearwater's first nine-inning no-hitter in a decade as the Threshers beat visiting St. Lucie, 4-0.

Called up after posting a 3.38 ERA in seven outings for Class A Lakewood, Anderson was sticking to his plan masterfully through his first Threshers outing.

"Coming up from [Class A], I just wanted to throw strikes and get through the game," he said. "With a no-hitter going, that's something special right there."

Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate. Rain moved in after the top of the fourth, forcing a 44-minute delay and ending Anderson's afternoon after he struck out six, walked one and threw 32 of 51 pitches for strikes.

"What was working for me was my fastball and my curveball. Those were working really good," he said. "I was commanding my curveball where I wanted it, and then when I needed the fastball, I'd throw it on the corner and they just went swinging at it.

"With the rain delay, that was kind of a bummer. I wanted to throw a little bit more; everyone does. But for Morris and Arano to come in, that was awesome."

The 22-year-old right-hander headed to the clubhouse to finish off his gameday protocol. On the field, unbeknownst to the starter, the Threshers were on their way to making history.

"I had no idea," Anderson said. "I knew we scored in the fifth and I was like, 'All right, nice, let's keep it going.' Then, when I came out [of the clubhouse], it was zeros across the board."

Behind the Reno native, a fellow Nevadan was just as dominant. Morris, who's from Las Vegas, retired the first 11 men he faced and 12 of 13, only issuing a two-out walk to Mets No. 14 prospectLuis Guillorme in the eighth.

With three outs separating them from their first nine-inning no-hitter since Julio De La Cruz pitched one on Aug. 18, 2006, the Threshers turned to Arano to close it out. Anderson took his spot on the bench as a spectator.

"We were all sitting down and I'm sure all our hearts were pounding," he said. "Mine was pounding, and I was like, 'Let's see what [Arano's] got.' He was throwing 95, 96 (mph) in there."

After getting two quick outs, Arano walked Jonathan Johnson to extend the drama.

"When he walked [Johnson], the next batter he had 1-2," Anderson said. "He threw [John Mora] a slider and it looked like he came across with the bat, but the umpire told him no. Everyone was hooting and hollering."

The call didn't matter as Arano got Mora to fly to center.

"We poured out of the dugout, ripped the jerseys off, water cooler, shaving cream on all three of us," Anderson said. "It was great. I've never been part of that. That was awesome."

Clearwater's last no-hitter was a seven-inning perfect game by Andrew Carpenter on Aug. 27, 2007. Sunday's effort -- the fourth in the Florida State League this year -- was the first for Anderson at any level.

His goal for his second Florida State League outing is a tantalizing one, given Sunday's results.

"Always be better than the last outing," he said. "That's what I'm trying to do."

Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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