The Akron RubberDucks got an early start in their early Wednesday game against the Trenton Thunder, with Tyler Krieger blasting a leadoff home run. The solo shot was all Nick Pasquale would need, as the pitcher went six innings without allowing a hit, getting the win in the RubberDucks’ 4-2 victory.
“He’s always been a confident guy…he continues to get better,which is a credit to him, that’s what to try to get guys to do down here,” Akron RubberDucks Manager Mark Budzinski said, “he’s starting to learn how to pitch and work his secondary pitches.”
Pasquale recorded just four strikeouts over his seven innings of work, but limited the Thunder to mainly fly balls to get out of innings. Even after the no-hitter was broken up in the top of the seventh inning, Pasquale was able to get out of a potential dangerous situation with two runners on and a run already in. The 6-foot pitcher credited his fastball command to his quality outing.
“I didn’t really throw much off-speed (pitches),” Pasquale said, “but I could use them when I wanted and when I needed a big pitch I could throw the fastball down in the zone.”
As for the no-hitter, did Pasquale feel the pressure?
“Nah, I knew (about the no hitter) after the second inning,” Pasquale said, “it was just a 1-0 game so I just wanted to get the win.”
Pasquale’s teammates would help his cause in the sixth inning with a burst of scoring. First, highly touted first-baseman Bobby Bradley laced a double into the gap in right-center, which scored one. Then catcher Eric Hasse sent himself and Bradley home with a rocket to left-center that would have gone down to the towpath had it not smacked off the advertisement board, making the score at Canal Park 4-0 in favor of the RubberDucks.
Dylan Baker took the hill in the eighth for the RubberDucks and gave up the same amount of hits as Pasquale with one but did not give up a run. Closer David Speer came on in the ninth for the save and made things interesting, giving up a run, but he slammed the door and a fly-ball for the third out gave Akron the series victory over Trenton.
Pasquale got the win and moves to an even 2-2 record on the mound this year, and lowered his season ERA to 3.38. Krieger’s dinger was his second of the year, while Hasse, playing for his second straight day in relief of number one prospect Francisco Mejia, blasted his third home run of the year.
With the win, Akron improves to 13-17. This weekend, the RubberDucks go on the road for a series against Binghamton, which will feature five games in four days.