Players on the New Orleans Baby Cakes shared a memory they won't soon forget Friday, as pitchers Scott Copeland, Hunter Cervenka and Brandon Cunniff combined to toss a no-hitter against the Iowa Cubs in their 11-1 victory at Principal Park in Des Moines.
New Orleans' trio had to earn their no-no the hard way, facing a considerable Iowa lineup. Leadoff man John Andreoli recently enjoyed a stellar performance in the World Baseball Classic, in which he posted a 1.192 OPS for Team Italy. No. 3 hitter Ian Happ, the Cubs' No. 2 prospect and No. 25 overall, already had five home runs to his name through his first eight games of the season. But Copeland kept them off-balance from the beginning, striking out eight while inducing eight groundouts over the first seven innings before giving way to Cervenka after 63 pitches. Copeland's only mistake -- a fifth-inning walk -- was erased quickly by an inning-ending double play.
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Cervenka, who pitched 68 games between Atlanta and Miami last season, survived a wild inning in which he walked two batters and allowed a run on a fielding error by first baseman Brandon Barnes -- but he did not give up a hit. That left the ninth to Cunniff, who breezed through a pressure-filled ninth by striking out two Cubs hitters and retiring the side on 15 pitches.
The Baby Cakes' no-hitter is the 146th thrown in the history of the Pacific Coast League and just the third in which a team used three pitchers.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.