Miami Marlins prospect Chris Vallimont pitched seven hitless innings as the Clinton LumberKings nearly no-hit the Beloit Snappers at Pohlman Field on Tuesday afternoon.
Vallimont took a perfect game into the 7th inning, but walked two batters and threw a wild pitch in his final frame. Still, he left the game with a no-hitter and shutout intact. Reliever C.J. Carter struck out the side in the 8th and retired the first batter he faced in the 9th before Snappers second baseman Joseph Pena singled for Beloit’s only hit of the game. Carter then retired the next two batters he faced to end the game.
The LumberKings won 5-0, scoring all five of their runs off Snappers starter Bryce Nightengale in the top of the 4th inning. Thomas Jones hit a three-run homer, the third roundtripper in seven games for the Clinton leftfielder.
Jerar Encarnacion had two hits, including an RBI double, for the LumberKings. Vallimont struck out nine batters and lowered his ERA to 2.70 in nine starts this season.
Clinton’s pitching gem came one day after LumberKings RHP Humberto Mejia took a no-hitter into the 7th inning of the first game of a doubleheader against the Snappers on Monday. Mejia allowed two hits and an unearned run, struck out eight batters and walked none in eight innings of the 6-1 Clinton win. The LunberKings also won the nightcap, 2-1.
MWL players of the week
Cedar Rapids Kernels RHP Andrew Cabezas and Lake County Captains outfielder Will Benson respectively were named the Midwest League’s pitcher and offensive player of the week for May 13-19.
Cabezas made one start during that time, a win against the Quad Cities River Bandits on May 15. He allowed only one hit, struck out nine, and walked none in seven innings. The Minnesota Twins prospect is 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA, 30 strikeouts and 11 walks in 32.2 innings/six starts this season.
Benson batted .391 (9-for-23) with three homers, five RBI, and three stolen bases in six games during the specified period. This is the second time he was named the MWL offensive player of the week this season, previously earning the honor for April 15-21. Overall this year, the Cleveland Indians farmhand is batting .266 with 10 homers, nine doubles, one triple, 31 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 39 games. This is his second season with the Captains, after he batted .180 with 22 HR, 58 RBI and 12 SB in 123 games in the MWL last year.