Back to back: Lynchburg throws second straight no-hitter

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats made history tonight as they no-hit the Wilmington Blue Rocks for a second consecutive night and won 5-0. Cody Scarpetta retired the first 17 batters he faced and completed the first seven innings for the Hillcats. Benino Pruneda then pitched the eighth and ninth to complete the no-hitter.

Scarpetta worked a bit harder for his first 1-2-3 inning as it took him 19 pitches to get to the second. The Hillcats (6-2, 40-38) then backed him up with an early run. Kevin Ahrens doubled to lead off the top of the second inning. Two batters later Will Skinner singled and Ahrens scored to give the ‘Cats a 1-0 lead.

The Blue Rocks (4-5, 37-40) did not have a baserunner until the sixth. Terrance Gore broke up the perfect game with two outs. He was then stranded at first base as Raul Mondesi flew out to right field.

Lynchburg was able to pull away a bit in the seventh. A costly two-out error on the shortstop Mondesi led to two of the three runs scored in the frame to be unearned against relief pitcher Kyle Bartsch. The Hillcats scored their final run in the eighth inning. Ahrens led off with a double and scored on a two-out single fro Tyler Tewell. Ahrens “quietly” went 4-for-4 with three doubles, and two runs scored for the Hillcats second straight no-no.

In the bottom half of the seventh, Scarpetta had a scare with one out. Zane Evans launched a ball down the left field line with one out, but it hooked a foot foul at the last moment. Scarpetta then struck him out and fanned the next batter Cody Stubbs to finish his night with seven strikeouts.

Pruneda took over in the eighth. He was perfect in his first frame and then he walked Gore to start the ninth. Mondesi then grounded out to second base and Bubba Starling popped up to the shortstop. With two outs Jerud Schlehuber nearly hit a fly ball down the right field line that missed the right field foul pole by a foot or two. He would then strikeout on a 94 mph fastball and the no-hitter was in the books.

Scarpetta (2-1) earned the win throwing 99 pitches in seven innings for the ‘Cats, while the Blue Rocks starter, Glenn Sparkman (3-2), suffered the loss. The Hillcats completed their second sweep of the season and first since they took three in a row from the Frederick Keys May 27-29.

The Hillcats now travel home to take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for a three-game series at Lynchburg City Stadium. First pitch tomorrow night is at 6:05pm. The gates will open at 5pm and there will be fireworks after the game presented by Select Bank and Panera Bread. Left-hander Daniel Watts (0-0, 0.00) will start on the mound for the Hillcats against left-hander Luis Parra (5-4, 4.41) for the Pelicans. The live radio broadcast will go on the air at 6:40pm with the Hillcats On-Deck S

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