Justus Sheffield and Taylor Widener were untouchable on Friday night as the duo combined to throw a no-hitter, thanks in part to a late scoring change, while leading Double-A Trenton to a 2-0 victory over Binghamton in Game 3 of the Eastern League semifinals.The no-hitter was the second in as
Justus Sheffield and Taylor Widener were untouchable on Friday night as the duo combined to throw a no-hitter, thanks in part to a late scoring change, while leading Double-A Trenton to a 2-0 victory over Binghamton in Game 3 of the Eastern League semifinals.
The no-hitter was the second in as many years for the Thunder after the team accomplished the feat using two hurlers last season on April 26. More significant, it was the fifth postseason no-hitter in Eastern League history and just the third since 1937.
"I was screaming, I was pumped," Sheffield told MiLB.com. "Everyone ran out, we were jumping on the mound and giving each other hugs. It was an exciting win."
Sheffield, the Yankees' No. 5 prospect, was sharp in his second start since returning from the disabled list, working the first four frames in the no-hit bid. He allowed what was thought to be an infield single to in the second inning to Binghamton catcher Thomas Nido, only to have the hit erased from his line when the official scorer changed it to an error during the seventh inning.
When it was all said and done, the 21-year-old had issued two walks, hit one batter and struck out three. He threw 62 pitches in the outing, 37 for strikes.
"My overall command was better than it was in the past game," Sheffield said. "The walks that I gave up were close walks. All my pitches were working for me, I kept my composure and let me defense work behind me."
Widener took over in the fifth inning and was nothing short of dominant in relief of Sheffield. Making his Double-A debut, the Yankees' No. 16 prospect racked up seven strikeouts and faced one over the minimum over the game's final five frames to record the win and seal Trenton's historic no-hitter.
MILB Video - Title: Widener finishes off no-hitter - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=1820679283
At the plate, Yankees No. 2 prospect Clint Frazier (No. 26 overall), playing in his third game with the Thunder as part of a Major League rehab assignment, plated Jeff Hendrix in the bottom of the first inning to stake Trenton to an early lead. It was the lone hit collected by the 23-year-old outfielder, who finished 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Trenton would not score again until the bottom of the eighth, when second baseman Nick Solak (Yankees' No. 9) drove home a key insurance run with a two-out double.
Sheffield's outing was his longest since returning to the mound in late August. The 2014 first-rounder was cruising through his first Double-A campaign this season up until he landed on the disabled list with an oblique strain in early July. He didn't rejoin Trenton's rotation until Sept. 3, when he allowed two earned runs on five hits over three innings in his final regular-season start.
Widener, meanwhile, was bumped up to Trenton earlier this week from the Florida State League, where he had posted a 3.39 ERA with 129 strikeouts over 119 1/3 innings (27 starts) as a member of Class A Advanced Tampa. A 12th-round Draft pick in 2016 out of South Carolina, the 22-year-old right-hander held opposing hitters to just five home runs and a .206 average in his first full professional season.
With Friday's win, Trenton is now one game away from eliminating Binghamton and advancing to the Eastern League finals. The two teams will square off in Game 4 on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.