Jack O'Loughlin is only 19 years old, but he helped make history for Class A Short Season Connecticut on Sunday.The Australian left-hander combined with Michael Bienlien, Kyle Thomas and Kory Behenna on Connecticut's first-ever no-hitter as the Tigers beat Tri-City, 3-0, at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. It was the first
Jack O'Loughlin is only 19 years old, but he helped make history for Class A Short Season Connecticut on Sunday.
The Australian left-hander combined with Michael Bienlien, Kyle Thomas and Kory Behenna on Connecticut's first-ever no-hitter as the Tigers beat Tri-City, 3-0, at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. It was the first no-no in the New York-Penn League in almost exactly two years.
"It was an unbelievable experience," O'Loughlin said. "There was something after the sixth inning where I looked at [the scoreboard], with three innings remaining. ... I had 100 percent confidence they could complete it."
The trio of relievers piggybacked O'Loughlin, who worked the first six innings. He fanned leadoff man Luis Guerrero on three pitches to kick-start his seventh start and eighth outing of the season. After cruising through two perfect frames, the southpaw encountered control issues in the third. He issued five walks over the next four innings but benefited from double plays in the third and sixth.
Gameday box score
"I had to knuckle down and make better pitches and let my field help me out," O'Loughlin said. "The few double plays were very convenient in the situation."
After O'Loughlin departed, Bienlien kept the no-hitter intact in the seventh. The 21-year-old right-hander from Hawaii retired C.J. Stubbs on a first-pitch groundout, walked Nathan Perry but needed only three pitches to retire Jordan Brewer on a forceout and Wilyer Abreu on a fly ball to left field.
Thomas came on in the eighth and struck out one while working around an error before turning things over to Behenna. Facing the heart of the ValleyCats lineup, the 22-year-old southpaw worked a 1-2-3 ninth on 12 pitches. He froze Joe Perez on a payoff pitch, set down Stubbs on a grounder to shortstop and punched out Perry before being mobbed by his teammates
"After the seventh and going into the eighth and ninth, I realized it could happen," said O'Loughlin, who signed with the Tigers when he was 16. "But again, just one pitch could have turned it wrong. That didn't happen today. We got it done.
"Once that last strike was thrown and you knew it had happened, we let out all the emotions."
Connecticut accomplished the feat on the eve of the two-year anniverary of the last New York-Penn League no-hitter. Four Staten Island pitchers combined for a 2-0 whitewash of Tri-City on July 29, 2017.
Sunday's game was scoreless until the fifth, when Hector Martinez lined an RBI double and come home on a two-out single by Kingston Liniak. Fourth-round pick Ryan Kreidler provided a little insurance when he tripled in the seventh and trotted home on a balk by reliever Jairo Lopez. Martinez and Kreidler finished with two hits apiece.
Katie Woo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.