Ethan Small, Zach Vennaro, Nathan Kirby and Matt Hardy combined to no-hit the Mississippi Braves (4-7) in a 1-0 Biloxi Shuckers (4-7) win in front of a crowd of 3,482 on Saturday night at MGM Park. It was the first nine-inning no-hitter in the history of the Shuckers’ franchise history
Ethan Small, Zach Vennaro, Nathan Kirby and Matt Hardy combined to no-hit the Mississippi Braves (4-7) in a 1-0 Biloxi Shuckers (4-7) win in front of a crowd of 3,482 on Saturday night at MGM Park. It was the first nine-inning no-hitter in the history of the Shuckers’ franchise history and the second overall no-no.
Small (W, 1-1) took the hill first for the Shuckers and worked around traffic in each of his five innings of no-hit work. Justin Dean drew a leadoff walk in the first but was caught attempting to steal second, allowing Small to face the minimum in the inning. Small issued one walk and struck out one in each of his next two frames before hitting Trey Harris to start the bottom of the fourth. The southpaw struck out the next two batters and Harris was thrown out attempting to steal second by Shuckers’ catcher Payton Henry, ending any threat in the fourth.
The biggest moment of the night for Small came in the fifth inning. Drew Lugbauer walked and was cancelled out on a fielder’s choice by C.J. Alexander. Jalen Miller then worked a walk, the fifth of the night by Small, and Tyler Neslony legged out a fielder’s choice to avoid an inning-ending double play. With two outs and runners on the corners, Small faced Dean for a third time and struck out the M-Braves centerfielder, Small’s sixth strikeout of the night. It was the longest outing of Small’s professional career and his first career victory.
Biloxi’s offense scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Chad Spanberger and Alexander Palma drew back-to-back walks and moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch by M-Braves’ RHP Luis Mora (L, 0-1). Ryan Aguilar then bounced a ball to second, allowing Spanberger to score without a throw and putting the Shuckers ahead 1-0.
Vennaro (H,1) issued a two-out free pass to Greyson Jenista but struck out Shea Langeliers in his one hitless frame. Kirby (H,1) tossed two perfect innings, striking out four of the six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth.
In the ninth, Hardy (S,1) walked Trey Harris to start the frame and struck out Jenista for the first out. Langeliers avoided a double play on a fielder’s choice before Lugbauer walked, putting the tying run at second. Hardy then struck out Alexander on a fastball on the inner half of the plate, sealing the no-hitter and the victory for Biloxi.
The Shuckers close out their six-game series with the Mississippi Braves on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 pm. Biloxi is scheduled to send RHP Luis Contreras (0-1, 2.45) to the mound while the M-Braves have not named a starter. Individual tickets are on sale now for all 2021 Shuckers home games and promotions for May can be found here. Full Shuck Nation Membershipsand Half Shell Shuck Nation Memberships, flex plans and group outings are available by calling 228-233-3465 and selecting Option 3.
ABOUT THE BILOXI SHUCKERS:
The Biloxi Shuckers are the Double-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Shuckers play at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi and are members of the Double-A South. For more information, please visit biloxishuckers.comand follow us on Twitter @biloxishuckers and at facebook.com/biloxishuckers.