CEDAR RAPIDS — His teammates stormed out of their dugout, swarmed him at the pitcher’s mound and started jumping up and down in celebration.
Jovani Moran didn’t understand why.
“I was like ‘What happened?’” the Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher said.
Even though he didn’t know it, what happened Tuesday night was a combined no-hitter for Moran and Edwar Colina in a 10-0 win over South Bend at Veterans Memorial Stadium. It’s the 14th no-no in Cedar Rapids club history, the first since April 7, 2013, when Tyler Duffey, Josue Montanez and Tim Atherton teamed up for one against Beloit.
You want more? This beauty came three years to the day of the last one thrown at Memorial Stadium.
Clinton’s Daniel Missaki, Kody Kerski and Troy Scott combined there. Cibney Bello was the LumberKings pitching coach and is the Kernels co-pitching coach this season.
“That was fun,” said Kernels Manager Toby Gardenhire. “You can’t beat a no-hitter.”
Colina did the majority of the work here, going the first six innings, walking five and striking out three. Moran finished the final third of the game, walking one and striking out one.
They just happen to have lockers right next to each other in the Kernels clubhouse. No-hit symmetry.
“I threw my two-seamer better tonight,” Colina said. “That helped me. That gave me the opportunity to throw my breaking pitch (more).”
He wasn’t upset about being taken out after 90 pitches.
“I understand,” he said. “I want to follow their plan.”
Moran gave up probably the hardest-hit ball for South Bend, a line drive to left-center field by Austin Filiere with one out in the ninth that C.R. left fielder Jean Carlos Arias tracked down. Miguel Amaya followed with a grounder in the hole to shortstop that Royce Lewis backhanded, making a strong throw to first for history.
It’s the third no-hitter in the Midwest League this season.
“I feel very happy and excited,” Moran said. “Just want to say thank you to my teammates. They did good work. I didn’t strike out very many, one guy. They hit a lot of groundballs and that line drive to Arias.”
Offensively, the Kernels (11-8) touched up South Bend starting pitcher Cory Abbott, a second-round pick of the parent Chicago Cubs last year, for 11 hits and eight runs (five earned) in 3 1/3 innings. Royce Lewis and Akil Baddoo finished with three hits apiece, with Baddoo, Arias and Ben Rodriguez all hitting home runs.
Rodriguez’s three-run shot in the fourth was a majestic blast halfway up the batter’s eye in dead center field. The teams play against Wednesday night at 6:35.
Before Tuesday’s game, the Kernels and parent Minnesota Twins announced relief pitcher Kevin Marnon has been promoted to high-Class A Fort Myers. Marnon was 2-0 with a save and 1.46 earned run average in five appearances.
No corresponding move was announced, meaning the Kernels are at 24 active players, one below maximum.
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