The first major accomplishment of the 2022 baseball season is in the history books, and it belongs to the Indianapolis Indians.
On Wednesday night, the Pirates Triple-A affiliate delivered the first no-hitter of either the MLB or MiLB calendar in a 5-0 road win against the St. Paul Saints.
Right-handers Chase De Jong, Austin Brice, and Yerry De Los Santos combined to silence the St. Paul bats and secure Indianapolis’ first no-hitter since 2012 and 15th in franchise history. Five of the 15 no-hitters have been combined.
Chase De Jong got the party started with seven hitless innings, walking two and striking out nine batters. De Jong made his major league debut in 2017 with the Seattle Mariners and started nine games for the Pirates last season.
De Jong’s day ended after throwing 80 total pitches and 49 for strikes.
“I think the biggest thing for me tonight was fighting the elements,” De Jong told MiLB.com. “It was pretty cold out there, we were all huddled around the heater inside the dugout. But once I could get into a groove out there, I had all four pitches working for me.”
De Jong credited catcher Jason Delay, a 2017 fourth-round pick for Vanderbilt, for calling “a flawless game” and helping his staff bring the heat in on a cold night at CHS Field with the temperature 38 degrees at first pitch.
The 27-year-old is working his way back from knee surgery and returned to the Bucs late into shortened Spring Training.
St. Paul’s struggles continued after De Jong’s exit, never reaching the basepaths again.
Brice entered in the eighth and pitched a clean 1-2-3 inning, throwing 16 pitches, half for strikes, and punching out one.
Indianapolis scored four in the eighth to provide added run support to a slim 1-0 lead. No. 26 overall prospect Oneil Cruz scored on a fielder’s choice and scored Ji-hwan Bae to record the game’s second run. Cal Mitchell and Mason Martin followed with RBI doubles, Mitchell plating two, to pad the lead and secure a strong cushion of run support for the bullpen to finish the job.
De Los Santos slammed the door shut in 11 pitches, including two strikeouts.
Justin Wilson was involved in two no-hitters in 2012 for Indianapolis. A combination with Jose Diaz and Doug Slaten on April 29 against Durham and his own solo act in an 8 inning, rain-shorted victory on August 9 facing Charlotte in the last hitless outing for an Indians opponent before Wednesday.
Indians pitchers totaled 12 punchouts against St. Paul and improved to 6-2 on the young season in what will remain one of the most memorable games of the year.