from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball at www.gsohoppers.com…..(Great read with a lot of history thrown in.)
No-hit list grows for Greensboro
The combined no-hitter by Hoppers pitchers Jose Fernandez, Greg Nappo and Kevin Cravey Tuesday night against Hickory added to an impressive list of such games in Greensboro baseball history.
It’s the 11th one listed by the South Atlantic League, dating back to 1980. And there are nine others listed when Greensboro was in the Carolina League from 1945-68. We’ll get to the lists in a moment.
You can read the recap of the game, an excellent job by David Heck of milb.com, on the home page of gsohoppers.com. Here’s the link if you need it:
I called Hoppers manager David Berg this morning in Hickory, where they were preparing for an 11 a.m. game against the Crawdads. He liked what all three pitchers showed.
“They got ahead in the count by throwing first-pitch strikes,” he said. “The stuff was great coming out of their arms.”
Berg, who was a defensive replacement in a 1999 no-hitter thrown by A.J. Burnett of the Marlins, said Austin Barnes made two nice plays at second base. Barnes jumped to snag a line drive and charged in to handle a chopper over the mound.
The best defensive play was made by right fielder James Wooster in the ninth inning, when he made a sliding catch to preserve the game.
The Miami Marlins, of course, are watching the 19-year-old Fernandez closely, making sure to protect his arm. So there never really was any consideration of leaving him in the game past the sixth, who added that the young pitcher understood.
“It’s not just the amount of pitches, but how many times he was up and down,” Berg explained, referring to warmups. “And he was up and down six times.”
No one had to say anything when Nappo went out for two innings and Cravey for the ninth.
“They were watching the game,” Berg said.
The dugout was “pretty composed, pretty calm” in the ninth inning, Berg went on, and the excitement burst after the final out.
The Hoppers moved to 13-5 on the season, good for first place in the Northern Division, while Hickory dropped to 12-6, but that was merely an afterthought. And the teams play three more games in the series.
It was the first no-hitter since the franchise became known as the Grasshoppers in 2005. The last one thrown by a Greensboro staff came on Aug. 26, 2004, when Jason Vargas, Nate Nowicki and Carlos Martinez combined to beat Savannah 3-0. Vargas pitched the first seven innings.
Records prior to 1945 are difficult to track down, so there are likely other no-hitters early in Greensboro baseball history. Here’s the known list, by year (games are nine innings except where noted):
1949: Luis Arroyo beat Burlington 1-0 on July 25.
1950: Al Zillian beat Reidsville 7-0 in seven innings on July 29 (when minor leagues play doubleheaders, they play two 7-inning games).
1950: Gene Pereyra threw the second no-hitter of the season, beating Fayetteville 6-0 in seven innings on Aug. 16.
1956: Ted Stone beat Kinston 5-0 in seven innings on May 18.
1956: Ken McBride threw the second no-hitter of the year, beating Fayetteville 6-0 on Aug. 30.
1957: Charles Smith beat Durham 2-0 on June 10.
1963: Jack Spurgin beat Winston-Salem 1-0 on Aug. 2.
1964; Gil Downs and Charles Payne combined to beat Wilson 2-0 in seven innings on May 14.
1965: Bill Henry pitched Greensboro’s last no-hitter in the Carolina League, beating Wilson 3-0 on April 21.
1980: Pete Filson hurled Greensboro’s first no-hitter in the South Atlantic League, beating Gastonia 4-0 in seven innings on April 25.
1981: Kelly Scott beat Charleston, S.C., 3-0 in seven innings on June 9.
1983: Brad Arnsberg beat Savannah 5-0 on May 21.
1986: Dan Gabriele beat Gastonia 4-0 on June 14.
1988: Bill Risley beat Columbia 4-0 in seven innings on May 18.
1989: Mo Sanford, Jerry Spradlin and Mike Malley combined to beat Gastonia 6-0 on April 14.
1989: Sanford did it on his own this time, beating Myrtle Beach 7-0 on June 2.
1989: Mike Anderson gave the Hornets their third no-hitter of the season, beating Columbia 5-0 on July 27. This game may need an asterisk because it is only listed as six innings. Perhaps it was called by rain.
1990: Sterling Hitchcock beat Sumter 1-0 on July 16.
1991: Rafael Quirico beat Charleston, S.C., 2-0 on July 21.
2004: Vargas, Nowicki and Martinez end a 13-year no-hit drought by beating Savannah 3-0 on Aug. 26.
2011: Fernandez, Nappo and Cravey beat Hickory on April 24.