POSTSEASON ALL-STARS & AWARDS ANNOUNCED
Date: Aug 16, 2019
By Phil Gray
June 20 - It doesn't happen often.
Twenty-three times, in fact, in the major leagues, and that history goes back 135 years. It has never happened -- untilnight -- for the Chillicothe Paints or in the Prospect League.
And it had never happened to a player managed by Paints skipper Greg Cypret.
"Maybe four or five no-hitters, but never a perfect game," he said. "It's never happened before."
Travis Lakins changed that. His 27-up, 27-down performance against West Virginia made historyas the Paints cruised to a 3-0 win over the Miners.
"For him to have that kind of command over nine innings, you just don't see that very often," Cypret said. "For his fastball, curve and slider to be that sharp, and at that velocity, it was just amazing."
On the way to the win -- his third in three starts with the Paints -- Lakins struck out 14 and threw 106 pitches. Of them, 71 were strikes. And, in a developmental league in which pitch-counts are usually king, Lakins ruled the world.
"Eric Parker (the team's pitching coach) was pushing that if there was an error or a walk, we probably would have gotten him out of there," Cypret said. "Even though it's still a no-hitter, we would have probably gotten him out of the game. But the thing is, there are so few times in your life when you have a chance to do this.
"And it's not like he was at 125 pitches or anything. And, the other thing, he wasn't under a lot of stress, other than just being in that situation. He wasn't pitching out of jams or getting out of messes all the time. He was just awesome."
In three outings so far for the Paints, Lakins hasn't allowed a run and hasn't issued a walk. He has struck out 22 in 22 innings and has allowed just eight hits along the way.
Offensively, Drew Erie scored Chillicothe's first run after he led off the fifth with a double and later scored on a grounder by Zach Jacobs. The Paints added two more in the seventh when Kurt Hoekstra led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jacobs, and Chad Sedio scored on a single by T.J. Diffenderfer.