Rehabbing Alvarez backstops no-hitter by Mets' High-A trio

June 5th, 2024

knew he was in good hands with an old buddy.

Pitching to former teammate and rehabbing Major Leaguer , the right-handed Mets prospect nailed down the last nine outs to complete High-A Brooklyn's first nine-inning no-hitter in a 3-0 win over visiting Aberdeen at Maimonides Park.

Righty Dakota Hawkins opened the historic night with five frames and righty Joey Lancellotti went one inning in the Cyclones' first no-hitter since a seven-inning feat on Aug. 23, 2009, also against the IronBirds.

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For Cornielly, a familiar face behind the plate helped ease whatever tension surrounded him.

"Alvy's a very good friend of mine and we've been teammates off and on since 2019," Cornielly said of the Mets catcher. "We've worked together so many times in the past, so it was comfortable having him back there tonight."

Hawkins, who struck out a pair and walked one in an extremely efficient 56-pitch outing, agreed with the closer.

"Being able to throw to [Alvarez] was amazing," Hawkins said. "It's not every day you're able to show up to the ballpark and pitch to someone like him. He kept me in line out there and I had total confidence throwing to him. He also showed a lot of confidence in me, which is huge for a pitcher."

Hawkins and Lancelloti were helped out by some strong defensive plays by outfielder Stanley Consuegra. The 23-year-old made a pair of leaping catches in right to take away two potential extra-base hits, one that robbed Orioles No. 5 prospect Enrique Bradfield Jr. leading off the game and the other in the sixth that stole a hit from Adam Retzbach.

Consuegra also provided the only offense Brooklyn needed when he opened the scoring with an RBI single in the third.

Lancelloti, the beneficiary of Consuegra's second catch, felt the pressure of keeping the no-hitter alive when he entered in the sixth.

"It was definitely in the back of my mind," Lancellotti said. "It was still early in the game and so much can happen, but you don't want to be the guy to ruin everything. Especially pitching during those 'bridge innings' when [the no-no] is starting to come to life."

While Hawkins and Lancellotti relied on Brooklyn's defense -- the duo combined for three strikeouts -- Cornielly helped shut things down with more of a swing-and-miss-type outing.

The 23-year-old, who has 26 punchouts in 20 innings this season, fanned three en route to his sixth save. He worked around a two-out walk in the ninth and secured the franchise's second no-hitter by getting Elio Prado to ground to short for the final out.

"I was just working one pitch at a time," Cornielly said. "I knew there was a no-hitter going on when I entered, but I just trusted in Francisco and tried to make the perfect pitch when I needed to."

Alvarez, who hit 26 homers as a rookie last year for the Mets, has been out since April 19 after suffering a torn ligament in his left thumb that required surgery. He kicked off his rehab assignment on June 1 and appeared in three games for Double-A Binghamton.

The 22-year-old is expected to rejoin the Mets next week after the club returns home from the MLB London Series against the Phillies.

But in the meantime, he helped guide one of his former clubs to some history.

"It was really something special," Hawkins said. "Everybody always comes to the field hoping to have a day like this. To be able to go out and put together a great game as a team was a lot of fun. It's something none of us will ever forget."