By IAN WILSON
It’s a tough week to be a hitter in the Western Canadian Baseball League.
The WCBL experienced two no-hitters on back-to-back nights this week, as three pitchers combined to baffle opposing batters through a total of 16 innings.
The first historic no-no came on July 19th at Legacy Dodge Field in Fort McMurray when the Edmonton Prospects paid a visit to the Giants.
Reese Devlin started the game for Fort Mac and was perfect through two innings, picking up a strikeout along the way. From there, righthander Travis Cole of Tucson, Arizona took the ball and proved equally stingy to Prospects batsmen.
Cole – who is 3-1 with a 0.77 earned run average (ERA) and 33 Ks in 34.2 innings this summer – logged seven frames in the 3-0 victory over the Prospects. He walked two batters and struck out 10 to pick up the win and seal the no-hitter. Devlin threw 15 pitches and Cole tossed 86 for the Giants in the game, which was witnessed by 662 fans and took just under two-and-a-half hours to complete. Wyatt Anderson was tagged with the loss for Edmonton.
The Giants were on the other end of a perfect game against Edmonton Prospect pitcher Rich Walker at their home diamond in 2018, but this was the first no-hitter achieved by Fort McMurray pitchers in franchise history.
Less than 24 hours later, the Swift Current 57’s were getting started on the second game of a doubleheader against the Beavers at Tom Laing Park in Weyburn.
Kenny Jinks twirled a 10 K, complete-game shutout in the first seven-inning matchup, which was a 2-0 triumph for Swift Current.
Izaiah Ayala and his teammates looked on and somehow saw room for improvement for the 57’s in the late game.
The righthander from Diamond Bar, California issued just two walks and racked up 13 punchouts in his seven frames of work, which saw him throw 113 pitches, 63 of them for strikes. Ryan Jundt was saddled with the loss for the Beavers in the 7-0 defeat.
“What a performance,” said Swift Current head coach Joey Jordan of the outing from his no-hit pitcher.
This was the third no-hitter in the WCBL this season. The first took place on June 18th when Ty Boudreau achieved the first solo no-hitter in the history of the Sylvan Lake Gulls.