In on the no-hitter act

Devin Smeltzer winds up for a pitch on his way to his no-hitter of Harwich Saturday night. (Courtesy Mary K. Albis)
Devin Smeltzer winds up for a pitch on his way to his no-hitter of Harwich Saturday night. (Courtesy Mary K. Albis)

 
Devin Smeltzer finished his freshman season at Florida Gulf Coast with a 6.19 ERA, not the kind of debut the highly-touted left-hander was hoping for. His first start for Hyannis in the Cape Cod Baseball League was a big step in the right direction. He struck out nine and gave up two runs in 5.2 innings.

His second start was a giant leap. Smeltzer tossed a no-hitter in a 5-0 win over Harwich at Whitehouse Field Saturday night. I believe it’s the league’s first nine-inning, single-pitcher no-hitter since 2010, when Y-D’s Jordan Pries did it. It was the first for Hyannis since Matt Daly in 2007.

Smeltzer did it on a night when Max Scherzer threw a no-hitter for the Washington Nationals. There was also a no-hitter in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

Smeltzer needed just 91 pitches for his feat, a remarkable number. Sometimes, at this point in the summer, as arm strength is built back up, managers might shy away from pushing a pitcher the full nine innings – in 2013, three Bourne pitchers combined on a no-hitter for that very reason – but I can’t imagine there was much concern in this case.

Smeltzer threw 60 of his 91 pitchers for strikes and walked only one batter – on a 3-2 pitch – in the seventh. That was all that kept Smeltzer from a perfect game. He struck out four and recorded 13 ground ball outs, as the defense behind him shined.

After the walk, Smeltzer retired seven batters in a row to finish the game. The last batter he faced, Virginia Tech’s Saige Jenco, worked the count to 2-2 and fouled off a pair of pitches before hitting a ground ball to shortstop. Errol Robinson (Ole Miss), who handled six grounders at short, made one last play, and the celebration was on.

Austin Hays (Jacksonville) drove in three runs to back Smeltzer, while Robinson and his college teammate Jacob Noll (Florida Gulf Coast) knocked in one apiece.

With his slim build and lefty delivery, Smeltzer has often been compared to former Florida Gulf Coast – and Y-D Red Sox – star Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox. But Smeltzer’s Cape League career now includes something Sale’s did not.

And to make all of this even better, Smeltzer is a guy you’ll want to be rooting for. He beat cancer when he was just 9 years old, long before he became a baseball star.
 

Orleans 3, Falmouth 1

Orleans remained the hottest team in the league, topping Falmouth 3-2 for its sixth consecutive win. The Firebirds are now 9-2, best in the league. Reggie Southall (USC), who’s taking over at shortstop now that Colby Woodmansee is with team USA, went 2-for-3 with a triple and scored two runs. Kyle Lewis (Mercer) and Alex Call (Ball State) drove in runs. Corbin Burnes (St. Mary’s), making his second start, allowed one run in five innings and struck out four. Parker Bean (Liberty) and Joe Ryan (Cal State Northridge) combined on four scoreless innings of relief.
 

Brewster 16, Cotuit 6

On the heels of snapping its six-game losing streak, Brewster started a win streak with an offensive barrage against Cotuit. Five players had multi-hit games and the Whitecaps scored 16 runs on 17 hits for an easy win over the Kettleers. Colin Lyman (Louisville) went 4-for-5 atop the lineup and scored three runs. Nick Senzel (Tennessee) had three hits and two RBI, while Will Smith (Louisville), Robbie Tenerowicz (California) and Jack Meggs (Washington) had two hits each. Smith and Tenerowicz both homered. Pat Ruotolo (Connecticut) was credited with the win in relief for Brewster. Matt Albanese (Bryant) homered for Cotuit.
 

Wareham 5, Y-D 2

The Gatemen smacked 12 hits and pulled away from Y-D for a 5-2 victory. Jay Jabs (Franklin Pierce) hit his second home run of the summer, while David MacKinnon (Hartford) and Preston Grand Pre (California) had three hits apiece. Blake Fox (Rice) made his wareham debut and gave up one run in five innings for the win. Stephen Woods Jr. (Albany) picked up the save. Wareham improved to 5-6, good for a second-place tie in the West. Y-D, lost for the fourth time in a row and fell to 3-8.
 

Bourne 8, Chatham 2

Bourne out-hit Chatham 10-8 but built a much bigger margin on the scoreboard in an 8-2 win over the Anglers at Veterans Field. Reid Humphreys (Mississippi State) homered and four other Braves drove in one run apiece. Nick Solak (Louisville) stayed red-hot, picking up his fifth RBI and pushing his average to .438 in four games since joining the team late. On the mound, five pitchers combined for a solid showing, with the win going to reliever Ross Vance (West Virginia). For Chatham, Trenton Brooks (Nevada) and Kyle Brooks (North Florida) book-ended – or Brooks-ended, perhaps? – the lineup with two hits apiece. Bourne is now 4-6-1 since its rough start, while Chatham dropped to 6-5.
 

What to Watch

Maybe not much. There is supposed to be a full-slate of Fathers Day doubleheaders but rain will threaten those.
 

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2 Comments

  1. Mary Albis says:

    Hi Will,
    Great article on Smeltzer! It was exciting to watch him go the distance and earn the no-hitter. Thank you for the photo credit too. It is not necessary to give me credit on your blog, so feel free to use what you need without the credit at the bottom. Enjoying RFF, as I do every summer. Thanks for all you do!
    Mary

  2. willieAugust 9, 2009Is this the year the Braves and Shapiro come out on top?As long as he stays with pitching and desnefe. Wimmers is fresh, and Morgado will ride a high for game 2 on 3 plus days rest.I like the Bourne lineup, which is similar to the one where they have won the most games throughout the season.Expect the kitchen sink to be pitching tomorrow in the YD vs. Cotuit elimination game. If the Braves parade out the same lineup, I like their chances to compete.

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