CLEBURNE, TX – Austin Robichaux was one out away from a no-hitter and the Lincoln Saltdogs beat the Cleburne Railroaders 2-0 on Thursday night.
Trevor Sealey broke up the no-no with a double down the third base line with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. It prevented Robichaux from becoming the second Saltdogs pitcher to achieve the incredible feat. Jarrett Gardner tossed the team’s only no-hitter on June 25, 2009. There have only been five solo no-hitters in American Association history.
Robichaux earned the win and notched his third complete game of the season. It was his second shutout after he blanked Gary SouthShore in a seven-inning game on July 1st. On Thursday night, he gave up just the one hit, hit two batters with pitches, did not issue a walk and tied his season-high with nine strikeouts. He threw 102 pitches and faced only 30 batters.
Lincoln’s (44-45) right-handed pitcher retired the first seven batters on just 17 pitches. Then, he hit Paul Ludden and Alex Polston with consecutive pitches. After the brief lapse of concentration, he retired the next 19 Railroaders (29-60) before Sealey’s double.
Offensively, Lincoln generated a boatload of baserunners. The Saltdogs put runners in scoring position in seven out of nine innings but left 11 runners on base.
The ‘Dogs broke through for the first run in the sixth inning. Curt Smith reached on an error by the third baseman and stole second base. Then, he advanced to third on a groundout. Rookie Jamey Smart provided the big hit with a single up the middle to score Smith.
Lincoln tacked on an insurance run in the ninth. Alex Glenn walked with one out and proceeded to steal his way to third base. Next, Cesar Valera walked and swiped second base. A fielder’s choice groundout replaced Glenn with Valera at third base with two outs. Reliever Patrick Young threw a wild pitch in the next at bat to let Valera score and make it 2-0.
After giving up the hit to Sealey, Robichaux struck out Levi Scott to end the game and seal the win. He fanned Scott four times.
The Saltdogs stole a season-high five bases in the winning effort.
The last time the Saltdogs held an opponent to one hit was on June 7, 2017. Carlos Pimentel, J.R. Bunda and Michael Wagner combined for an 11-inning one-hitter against Sioux Falls. Robichaux’s masterpiece is the 14th one-hitter in American Association history.
The Saltdogs try for the series win on Friday. First pitch is at 7:06 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and http://www.espn1480.com/lincoln-saltdogs-baseball/.