Nick Fanti went 8 2/3 hitless innings and Trevor Bettencourt got the last out to finish the fifth no-hitter in BlueClaws history as Lakewood shut out Columbia 1-0 on Saturday night at Spirit Communications Park in Columbia, South Carolina.
Fanti came within one out of the first BlueClaws nine-inning no-hitter win – Gavin Floyd threw a nine-inning no-hitter but lost in 2002 – and after he walked Luis Carpio to put two on base in the ninth, manager Marty Malloy summoned Bettencourt.
Bettencourt, who earned his second save of the week, struck out Michael Paez to end the game.
The BlueClaws had four previous no-hitters: Keith Bucktrot in 2001, Gavin Floyd in 2002 (loss), Carlos Carrasco and Andy Barb in 2006, and Jeb Stefan, Ramon Oviedo, and Chris Burgess in 2013.
Lakewood took the lead in the eighth inning. After Edgar Cabral reached on an error, he was bunted to third by Danny Zardon and a Jose Antequera sacrifice fly gave the BlueClaws a 1-0 lead. For Antequera, it was his seventh RBI of the road trip after he drove in one run in his first 16 games with the BlueClaws.
Meanwhile, Lakewood won their seventh game in a row to improve to 18-12 on the season. They can tie their franchise record with an eighth straight win on Sunday in the third game of the series with Columbia. The Fireflies, who started 5-0, drop to 14-15 on the season.
Columbia reliever Jake Simon (0-1) gave up the unearned run to take the loss in his Fireflies debut. He followed starter Blake Taylor, who threw six scoreless innings.
Carlos Duran had two of the four BlueClaws hits in the win.
The series continues on Sunday at 2:05 pm. RHP Sixto Sanchez (2-0) starts for Lakewood opposite RHP Harol Gonzalez (1-1).