Heasley Legend-ary in Sally semis opener

Kansas City prospect takes no-no into seventh, strikes out six

Jon Heasley registered his first scoreless start since Aug. 18 against Kannapolis. (Lexington Legends)

By Shlomo Sprung / MiLB.com | September 4, 2019 9:38 PM

Jon Heasley was nearly perfect to start the postseason.

The Kansas City right-handed prospect didn't allow a hit until the seventh inning, eventually giving up one run over a career-long seven innings as Class A Lexington edged Augusta, 2-1, in Game 1 of the best-of-3 South Atlantic League semifinals Wednesday night from SRP Park.

Video: Legends' Heasley freezes Edie for punchout

"I knew it was a big game. I kind of live for the big games," Heasley said. "I kind of love the intensity, get the adrenaline going a little bit. I just wanted to give my team a chance to win, and tonight, I did a good job of that."

The 22-year-old right-hander got two quick outs before a four-pitch walk to Frankie Tostado in the first inning.

"[The walk] made me kind of ease up a little bit," Heasley said. "It kind of cooled me down a little bit. I think it was a good thing to calm me down a little bit and got me back into the groove."

Gameday box score 

The 2019 midseason All-Star then retired the next 16 Augusta hitters, taking a no-hit bid into the seventh. Heasley only reached a three-ball count on three of those 16 batters.

"I feel like these guys, Augusta, are a mistake-hitting team," the Texas native said. "Fastball command was probably as good as it's been all year. They were chasing some curveballs down in the dirt. I thought I was doing a good job locating that. I got a few guys to pop up, jam shots and stuff like that."

With the Legends leading on a fourth-inning solo homer by Jeison Guzman, Giants No. 29 prospect Tyler Fitzgerald took Heasley's 1-1 pitch over the wall in left-center for a game-tying dinger.

"He just put a good swing on a curveball in the zone," he said.

Complete playoff coverage 

The 13th-round pick in the 2018 Draft racked up six strikeouts, his highest total since July 16 against Rome, when he fanned eight. Coming into the game, Augusta hitters had batted .283 (15-for-53) with a home run and eight RBIs against the Oklahoma State product. Heasley went 8-5 with a 3.12 ERA, 120 strikeouts and 34 walks in 112 2/3 innings during the regular season.

Lexington pushed the winning run across in the eighth. With one on and one out, Guzman grounded a single to right against righty Adam Oller and Rubendy Jaquez scored on a throwing error by third baseman Sean Roby.

Game 2 of the series will be Thursday night in Lexington. 

In other Sally League playoff action:

Crawdads 4, Shorebirds 3

Tyreque Reed's eighth-inning tater gave Hickory the insurance run needed to take Game 1 in the semifinals. Top Orioles prospect Adley Rutschman opened the scoring with an RBI double and Shayne Fontana added a run-scoring single in the first inning. Hickory responded with a run-scoring double by top Rangers prospect Josh Jung and a two-RBI double by Miguel Aparicio. Texas No. 24 prospect Ricky Vanasco allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings. Gameday box score

Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports View More