For the first five games of their weeklong road trip, everything seemed to be going the RiverDogs’ way. Charleston’s most impressive stretch of the season came to a screeching halt in the road trip finale Monday in New Jersey. Left-hander Nick Fanti turned in nine no-hit innings and the BlueClaws blanked the RiverDogs 1-0 to snap Charleston’s season-long five game winning streak on Monday afternoon at FirstEnergy Park.
Fanti (7-2) allowed just one baserunner in the second complete game shutout by an opposing pitcher against Charleston (51-43, 17-7) this year, yielding a two-out walk to first baseman Brandon Wagner in the second. The Smithtown, N.Y. native struck out 12 RiverDogs batters while throwing 113 pitches to lower his ERA to 2.52.
It was the second BlueClaws (51-43, 11-13) no-hitter this season after Fanti tossed 8 2/3 innings of a combined no-no on May 6 at Columbia. It was the first time Charleston has been no-hit since a three-pitcher combined effort by the Fireflies on April 9, 2016 at The Joe last season.
Lakewood tallied just two hits in the win, both from designated hitter Henri Lartigue, including a one out solo fly in the second inning, the Ole Miss product’s seventh homer of the season.
Right-hander Alexander Vargas (0-1) was brilliant in his RiverDogs debut. The 19-year-old Dominican took a tough luck loss, allowing no other baserunners aside from the homer while striking out five across six one-run innings.
The loss spoiled a perfect road trip for Charleston who had run the table on the Suns for their first series sweep of the year before taking the first two games of the series in Lakewood despite trailing heading into the ninth inning in each. The RiverDogs will remain in first-place in the Southern Division second half standings by at least 2.5 games heading into an off day on Tuesday.
With the no-hit shutout, Yankees first rounder Blake Rutherford’s hitting streak came to an end at 11 games, a career-high for the Simi Valley, Calif. native who went 17-for-46 (.370) over that span.
The brisk one hour and 47 minute affair was by far Charleston’s quickest game of the season.