MANCHESTER, N.H. - Ethan Hollingsworth, Jason Townsend, Jhonathan Ramos and Ryan Beckman combined to throw the second no-hitter in Curve history on Thursday night in a, 5-0, win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The only other no-hitter in franchise history occurred on April 23, 2002 when Adrian Burnside, Neal McDade and Chris Spurling combined on a nine-inning no hitter.
The quartet of Curve hurlers were given an early lead in the first inning thanks to Gregory Polanco's third home run in Double-A, a solo shot to right field.
From there, Hollingsworth went to work and retired the first nine batters that he faced before he barely grazed Adam Loewen to start the fourth inning. It didn't throw Hollingsworth off his game, however, as he retired the next three batters in succession to keep the no-hit bid intact.
Townsend (2-3) entered the contest in the fifth inning and followed suit with a 1-2-3 inning to move the game along to the sixth. In the sixth, the reliever walked Brian van Kirk to leadoff the inning but, like Hollingsworth two innings prior, recovered to get the next three batters out.
The seventh inning was less of a trying task for Townsend as he induced three groundball outs to move the game along. Ramos took over in the eighth and retired the first batter Gabe Jacobo with a groundout to second before Ryan Schimpf came to the plate. Schimpf gave the no-no a run for its money with a liner down the right-field line that sailed just foul near the Fisher Cats bullpen. Ramos bounced back to strike him out and then induce a groundout of van Kirk to end the inning.
Beckman was summoned for the ninth and retired both Jon Talley and Loewen on routine groundballs before dealing with third baseman Andy Burns. Burns took a two-strike pitch into the hole at short and third baseman Adalberto Santos went to make a play on the ball. Santos fielded it cleanly and after a getting the ball into his throwing hand tossed the ball to first base in time to get Burns to secure the no-no.
Mixed in with the no-hitter on Thursday was also a bid for a possible second cycle of the season with Polanco going 3-for-3 with a homer, single, double and a walk before eventually striking out in his final at bat. Eight of the nine Curve batters reached base safely on Thursday with Polanco, Jarek Cunningham and Drew Maggi leading the way with three hits apiece. Santos drove in three runs and finished the day 2-for-5.
It is the second time in Fisher Cats history that the club has been no-hit and the first time ever in a nine-inning game.
Altoona (47-56) and New Hampshire (52-51) will play the second game of the four-game set beginning at 7:05 p.m. Friday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. LHP Nate Baker (2-1, 7.15) will make his first start of the season for the Curve after being in the bullpen. He'll be opposed by RHP Marcus Walden (6-10, 3.36) on Friday night.
--Altoona Curve Media Relations