Hickory hurlers combine for 10-inning no-no
It took an extra frame, but High-A Hickory made history for the first time in nearly a decade. After breaking through with four runs in the 10th inning, the last of four Crawdads pitchers closed the door on a no-hitter in Hickory's 4-0 victory against Bowling Green on Saturday night.
It took an extra frame, but High-A Hickory made history for the first time in nearly a decade.
After breaking through with four runs in the 10th inning, the last of four Crawdads pitchers closed the door on a no-hitter in Hickory's 4-0 victory against Bowling Green on Saturday night. It was the 22nd no-no in the Minors this year and the second in the South Atlantic League in a week.
Larson Kindreich, Leury Tejada, Michael Brewer, and Theo McDowell all started the year in Single-A Down East. The quartet all played a role in the Crawdads’ first no-hitter since 2013.
Pitching coach Jon Goebel knew of the history between this group of pitchers and immediately contacted the Wood Ducks' pitching coach, Demetre Kokoris.
“I texted him right away,” Goebel said. “I was like, ‘Hey, four of your Wood Ducks just threw a no-hitter, by the way.’”
The Rangers affiliate's milestone started with Kindriech, who struck out eight and walked one in six innings. The southpaw's aggressiveness and chemistry with catcher Randy Florentino are what he believes helped him contribute to the no-hitter.
“We really worked well together tonight,” Kindreich said. “He was calling some really good pitches, we were in sync with our sequences. We were just trying to be aggressive, get our team back in the dugout as soon as we could so our hitters get a crack.”
Waiting for the hitters to connect would add to the tension of the game, which was scoreless until the Crawdads pushed across four runs in the 10th on a double and three consecutive singles.
The tension wasn’t lost on Goebel, whose family was in attendance. Goebel joined the coaching staff this year and had never previously been part of a no-hitter. The former Parkland College pitching coach felt he was chasing after it himself.
“I was nervous,” Goebel said. “I did a mound visit. We had two outs, and we had a three-two count and we walked a guy. We're up 4-0. There were two men on with two outs, and I was talking to the pitcher. I said, ‘I'm not gonna tiptoe around this like we need to embrace this moment. We're going for a no-hitter.””
Each of the pitchers had a unique skillset to bring to the game. Kindreich utilized a fastball, changeup combination, while Tejada relied on sinkers and sliders. Brewer and McDowell capped the night off with hard breaking balls.
The three relievers combined for five strikeouts and a walk over the final four frames. McDowell pitched the final two innings and induced a grounder to short for the final out of the game.
“Guys just brought their best stuff tonight,” said Goebel.