San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum recently threw his second no-hitter in less than a year, but he has nothing on the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Single-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.
Earlier this week, the Hillcats threw consecutive no-hitters against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the Kansas City Royals' Single-A affiliate. Lynchburg used two pitchers in each game to get the job done.
On June 26, Lucas Sims was able to hold Wilmington hitless through the first seven innings of the game. Although he didn't allow a hit, he did allow a run after walking a batter in the fifth inning. The run was unearned, however, after a passed ball and an error allowed the runner to move around the bases. His bid for perfection ended in the bottom of the third after he hit the leadoff batter. Alex Wilson pitched the final two innings to finish off the no-hitter.
No-hitter!!!! Sims 7ip, Wilson 2ip. Hillcats win 5-1 over the Blue Rocks!— Lynchburg Hillcats (@HillcatBaseball) June 27, 2014
Sims (four walks and a hit batter) and Wilson (two walks) weren't perfect, but they were good enough to no-hit the Blue Rocks.
Throwing a no-hitter is cause for celebration, but there wasn't much of a reaction by the Lynchburg players:
The next day, the Hillcats' pitching was even better.
Cody Scarpetta didn't allow a runner to reach base until he walked a batter in the sixth inning, and he held Wilmington hitless through the front seven, striking out seven in the process. The Hillcats then turned to Benino Pruneda to finish off their second consecutive no-hitter.
BACK TO BACK NO HITTERS!!! Hillcats win 5-0 and sweep the Blue Rocks— Lynchburg Hillcats (@HillcatBaseball) June 28, 2014
Apparently, we kinda got made fun of last night, that our celebration wasn't up to par for a no-hitter. We made sure we were going to do it right tonight. It was just crazy, everyone was kinda like, 'How we gonna celebrate two in a row, two no-hitters?' It was just good, all the coaches, everyone was extremely happy and excited. It was just a very exciting and happy time.
It probably would have been more fitting for the players to go wild the first time and then act like they've been there before after the second one. However, anytime you throw a no-hitter, it's worth celebrating.
Lynchburg may have used four pitchers to throw back-to-back no-hitters, but there was one man involved in all of the action. That man would be catcher Tyler Tewell, who caught both games.
The back-to-back no-hitters appear to have made some history, according to Wild:
It's believed to be the first time in Carolina League history in which a team has thrown no-hitters on consecutive days against the same opponent, although consecutive no-nos on the same day has happened before, oddly enough. On May 15, 1966, Rocky Mount pitched no-hitters in both games of a doubleheader against Greensboro, with Dick Drago working the opener and Darrell Clark the nightcap. Both of those contests were seven innings, though.
The Hillcats did finally allow a hit in Saturday's game, which ended a streak of 21.1 innings without allowing a hit.