Baseball: ThunderBolts blank Beach Bums
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media June 21, 2012 10:50PM
Updated: July 23, 2012 7:46AM
Having started the season as hot as any starting pitcher in the Frontier League, Windy City’s Mike Recchia had hit a rough spot over his previous three starts entering Thursday.
Facing the league’s highest-scoring offense, Recchia picked a perfect time to burst out of his recent slump.
Carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning, the Shepard product shut down Traverse City in a 6-0 win Thursday night at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
“It feels great after I’ve been struggling,” Recchia said. “It feels good to get back on track.”
Recchia (4-2) pitched a two-hit shutout, his first career shutout, striking out eight and walking four in a 135-pitch performance. It was the first shutout of the season for Windy City (17-13).
Over his previous two starts, Recchia allowed a combined 18 hits, 15 runs and seven walks, taking the loss in both games.
The righty struggled early in Thursday’s game, walking four and hitting two batters through five innings, but he still managed to take a no-hitter into the seventh. Traverse City’s Sean Gusrang busted the no-no with a double down the right-field line to lead off the seventh.
Recchia took a no-hitter into the seventh in a game in May against Washington before surrendering a hit.
The Windy City offense put a two-spot up in the second inning. Jareck West’s solo home run to left opened the scoring, with Travis Weaver’s single to shallow left later scoring Zach Aakhus.
“Whenever the offense is scoring early and often, it takes pressure off the starting pitcher,” Recchia said. “The more runs my hitters are putting up, the more comfortable I’m going to be.”
West’s two-run single in the fifth capped a four-run inning for the T-Bolts, Chad Cregar and Andy Chriscaden coming home on the hit.
Traverse City dropped to 21-11.
ThunderBolts pitcher Donovan Drake was signed Thursday by the Atlanta Braves and is expected to report to Danville, the Braves’ rookie affiliate in the Appalachian League.
In three starts with Windy City, Drake went 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA. He took the loss in Tuesday’s 9-3 defeat to Traverse City.
Drake is the 32nd ThunderBolts player all-time to sign with a big-league organization.