Roger Bernal, Euclides Leyer, Quintin Torres-Costa and Sam Bordner combined to throw the first no-hitter in Gastonia Honey Hunters history tonight at Caromont Health Park, blanking the Lexington Legends 11-0 on Wednesday night.
Bernal, signed earlier this week to join a Gastonia pitching staff that has shared plenty of mountain moments, joined his new club in time to make a historic impression on 1,124 fans at Caromont Health Park.
Gastonia was seeking an opportunity to level the series against the Legends, who defeated Gastonia last night by a 10-4 score.
Bernal was facing off against Thomas Dorminy, who was trying to replicate a brilliant effort last time out against the Honey Hunters.
Bernal managed to work through a pair of walks in the first inning to hold Lexington(9-10,32-53) off the board.
In the second, Bernal worked through the frame with no considerable difficulty and got some help from an offense that had begun to swing the bats at a higher level of efficiency.
Zach Jarrett and Reece Hampton opened the second with back-to-back doubles, with Hampton´s ground-rule double scoring Jarrett. The double for Jarrett moved his hit streak to 21 games, covering all of the month of July.
In the third and fourth innings, Bernal received some defensive support from his mates, as the Honey Hunters turned double plays in consecutive innings.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Gastonia was at it again.
Hampton walked with one out, stole second and then scored on a routine ground ball to second base from Luis Roman. Hampton, breaking for third on the pitch, made a break for home as Brandon Phillips threw to first to record the second out. The throw from Isaias Tejeda was late, as Hampton slid across home, slapping the plate with his hand to give Gastonia a 3-0 lead.
Later in the frame, Tra Holmes drove home Luis Castro, who singled four times in the game to boost his average fourteen points on the night. Holmes' first RBI for Gastonia made it a 4-0 game.
In the fifth, Bernal would finish strong, earning his first 1-2-3 frame to close out his night.
In total, Bernal would walk five batters, but would keep the Legends off the board through five.
Luis Roman drove in Jack Reinheimer in the fifth to make it 5-0, adding to the margin the formidable Gastonia bullpen had to play with.
Euclides Leyer was stellar in two innings for the Honey Hunters, facing the minimum six batters, striking out three.
In the eighth, Quintin Torres-Costa put his stamp on history, logging a perfect inning to take Gastonia to the ninth, three outs away from the franchise's first no-no.
However, the wait would be torturously delightful, as Gastonia sent ten men to the plate, scoring six times against two Lexington relievers.
In the ninth, Mauro Gozzo called on Sam Bordner to finish off the no-hit bid.
Bordner struck out Phillip Ervin looking to get the first out. Brandon Phillips popped out to Roman at third, bringing up Courtney Hawkins to spoil the bid.
It would not happen, as Bordner coaxed a fly ball to right, with Jarrett squeezing out number 27 on the night, sending the Honey Hunters into subdued elation.
Bernal claimed his first win of the year with Gastonia, just hours after meeting his new team and getting acclimated to his new surroundings.
Thomas Dorminy suffered the loss, dropping his record to 5-4 on the season.
Castro led a 15-hit attack, collecting four of only seven singles in the contest. Gastonia had eight extra-base hits in the game, as Jarrett, Hampton, Roman and Tra Holmes earned multi-hit games for Gastonia.
Gastonia (15-4, 59-25) plays the rubber game of the series tomorrow night against the Lexington Legends with a 6:15 pm first pitch. Ian McKinney returns to the bump to work against Jaylen Miller.
The Honey Hunters pregame show begins at 6:00 pm.
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