Baseball: ThunderBolts’ Travis Tingle no-hits Florence Freedom
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media June 19, 2014 10:00PM
Updated: July 21, 2014 4:03PM
Travis Tingle made history in bittersweet fashion Thursday night.
Tingle officially will go down in the record book as having thrown the 21st no-hitter in Frontier League history and the third all-time for the Windy City ThunderBolts.
He went just five innings to do it, though, as the game was shortened because of rain after 4½ innings, the T-Bolts topping the Florence Freedom 5-0 at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
“I definitely would have liked to go out there and finish the game,” Tingle said. “I’m not going to complain, though. It has to be the shortest no-hitter in league history, but I guess no one will really know when they look at the record books — unless they really look into it.”
Tingle (3-1), normally not known as a strikeout pitcher, fanned seven and walked two.
“I don’t know where it’s coming from,” he said. “(June 6 against Gateway), I had nine. I have to credit my catchers for calling all the right pitches.”
Tyson Corley was the previous T-Bolt to throw a no-hitter, Aug. 28, 2012. Isaac Hess had one Aug. 5, 2008. Both of those went the full nine innings.
The T-Bolts (13-16) scored first for just the second time in their last 12 games, putting up a three-spot in the first. Jon Mestas, in the leadoff spot for the first time, was hit by a pitch and Mike Torres reached on an error before Kyle Robinson continued his red-hot hitting, singling in Mestas. Evan Button’s two-run single made it 3-0.
Robinson had an RBI double in the second and pulled within a home run of the cycle when he tripled and scored on an error in the fourth. He raised his league-best batting average to .400.
The game was called after a 50-minute rain delay after strong storms hit following the top of the fifth. Florence fell to 15-14.
Before the game, the T-Bolts acquired pitcher Josh Spence from the Amarillo Sox of the American Association for a player to be named later. Spence, a soft-throwing lefty, spent parts of the 2011 and ’12 seasons with the San Diego Padres, compiling a 3.15 ERA in 51 major league appearances.
Released by San Diego earlier this season, he struggled with Amarillo, allowing nine earned runs over 41/3 innings in three appearances.
Spence, who will join the Windy City rotation and is scheduled to start Friday, is the second former big-leaguer to sign with the T-Bolts. Former Cubs pitcher Billy Petrick was with Windy City in 2009.
“He’ll bit a bit funky and unorthodox out there, but he knows what he’s doing,” T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said of Spence. “He’s a professional.”