Three Maryvale pitchers combine on no-hitter
By Will Kimmey
Three Maryvale pitchers combined to throw the first no-hitter in the Arizona Fall League's 10-year history.
Righthanders Jason Standridge (Devil Rays), Delvin James (Devil Rays) and Brian Mallette (Brewers) tossed seven hitless innings as the Saguaros defeated Mesa 3-0 on Nov. 5.
The AFL has implemented seven-inning games on Monday, Wednesday and Friday because of the reduced number of pitchers available after the league helped USA Baseball fill its roster for the World Cup.
"I think that's pretty cool," Standridge said. "You think about all the unbelievable pitchers in the history of this league and they haven't ever thrown one.
"It was a pretty good effort by all of us. It's still a big deal, but it doesn't really mean as much because it's not during a season. But it still means something to us personally."
Standridge, 23, started the game and threw the first four innings, striking out seven and walking one. It was his second no-hitter in three years. Standridge threw a seven-inning no-no for Charleston (S.C.) of the Class A South Atlantic League in 1999.
"I guess it's just something about seven inning games," he said.
The Devil Rays selected the 6-foot-4, 205-pound former Auburn quarterback recruit in the first round (31st overall) of the 1997 draft. Tampa Bay's No. 2 prospect spent most of 2001 with Triple-A Durham, where he went 5-10, 5.28 in 102 innings. Standridge has allowed just six hits in 19 AFL innings, going 0-0, 3.86 with 19 strikeouts and seven walks.
James, who struck out three in two innings for his first AFL win, has plenty in common with Standridge. The two were teammates in Durham, and James was also a solid football prospect. (The high school linebacker turned down a scholarship to Oklahoma State after being selected by Tampa Bay in the 14th round of the 1996 draft.) James went 3-7, 4.80 in Durham and is 1-2, 7.88 so far in the AFL. He's allowed 32 hits in 24 innings, but has fanned 22.
Mallette closed the game in the seventh with a hitless inning, walking one and striking out another for his third save of the year. He spilt the 2001 season between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville, going 7-3, 1.75 with 19 saves in 72 innings.
Bill Hall (Brewers) led the Saguaros at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs batted in. He drove in Brian Roberts (Orioles) in the fourth inning with a single after Roberts tripled. Hall later homered in the sixth inning.
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