Berkeley ace completes PGBL’s 25th no-hitter, second this week

Coming off a rough outing at Tijuana, Berkeley starter Trevor Bauer bounced back in a big way.

The Berks righty threw the PGBL’s second no-hitter in five days, racking up 13 strikeouts in a 4-0 triumph at Compton. He caught Jonathan India looking to start the ninth, then followed a Paul Goldschmidt fly out by whiffing JD Martinez to cap off the hitless gem.

Carson Kelly and Yasmani Grandal homered for the Berks, who improved to 28-11 atop the South League and tied with Chicago for the best record overall.

Bauer walked five and racked up 128 pitches, in contrast to this week’s 86-pitch perfect game by Aaron Civale of Las Vegas, to notch his third complete game and second shutout of the season.

He fanned six straight before Goldschmidt drew a two-out walk in the fourth to give the Outlawz their first baserunner.

The game remained scoreless until Grandal’s solo shot off Robbie Ray in the top of the sixth, and Bauer then had to escape a jam in the bottom half to preserve the lead.

Steven Duggar drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice. After an intentional walk to Bryan Reynolds and a conventional free pass to India loaded the bases, Goldschmidt took a called third strike and Martinez lined out to second.

It was the fourth no-hitter in Berkeley franchise history, matching the London Arsenal (former Toronto BlueBirds) for the most. The club’s three previous no-no’s each came for a different location: Oakland (Mike Clevinger), Taiwan (Derek Lowe), and San Antonio (Russ Ortiz).

PGBL no-hitters

Gamblers’ Civale throws PGBL’s 2nd perfect game

Las Vegas starter Aaron Civale hadn’t pitched all that well in his first six outings of the 2022 PGBL season. But he couldn’t have been much better in his seventh.

Civale completed the second perfect game in PGBL history, an efficient 86-pitch gem that carried the Gamblers to a 6-0 road victory over Twin City.

Civale induced 13 ground outs and struck out four, finishing off his perfection by getting Stars pinch hitter Maikel Franco to fly out to left. That put him alongside former Toronto BlueBirds lefty Brian Anderson as the only PGBL pitchers with a perfect game.

It was the Las Vegas franchise’s first no-hitter, and the 24th in PGBL history, following Memphis’ combined no-no against Dublin in the 2021 SL Division Series.

Last year saw four no-hitters, including two by Compton’s Shane Bieber and a combined effort by Kwang-Hyun Kim and Freddy Peralta of the Toronto Tigers that came within one batter of a perfect game.

Civale carried a 7.14 ERA into the contest, with Las Vegas having lost five of his six starts. But he baffled the lowly Stars all game, allowing just one Twin City batter to reach a three-ball count as Gio Urshela bounced a 3-1 offering to shortstop Dansby Swanson to end the eighth.

Civale got Rowdy Tellez to ground to second baseman Tommy Edman to start the ninth, and pinch-hitter Ian Happ rolled out to Brian Anderson at third before Whit Merrifield gloved Franco’s lazy fly to start the celebration.

The closest call for Twin City came when Tellez lined out to Swanson to open the third. In the fifth, Edman threw out Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on a sharp grounder that deflected off Civale for the second out.

The BlueBirds’ Anderson threw his perfecto on July 27, 2004, against British Columbia.

Mitch Haniger and Jonathan Schoop homered and Merrifield drove in two runs to spark the Las Vegas offense. Bailey Ober (0-6) took the loss for Twin City.

PGBL no-hitters

PGBL season gets underway with with plenty of fireworks

Gerrit Cole, Corbin Burnes, Walker Buehler, Brandon Lowe and Gavin Lux delivered big performances as the 2022 PGBL season got off to an eventful start.

Cole struck out 13 batters in eight sharp innings, allowing one run on three hits as host Chicago topped Boston 6-1 in the first game of the season. The game got heated in the eighth when the Cardinals’ Jed Lowrie was plunked by Spencer Turnbull, setting off a benches-clearing brawl.

Burnes twirled seven scoreless innings with eight Ks as defending champion Memphis posted a 5-2 road win over Compton. Luis Robert sparked the Melee offense with a homer and an RBI double.

The South League had a handful of ace-level performances on the mound. Tijuana’s Buehler and a pair of relievers shut down Twin City in a 2-0 victory, and reigning SL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom fanned 12 hitters in seven spotless frames as Dublin doubled up St. Louis at home, 8-4.

Vancouver and Berkeley posted extra-inning wins, the first games in league history to feature courtesy runners to start the 10th. After the Wildcats’ Lowe hit a pair of home runs, Kris Bryant gave Vancouver a 5-4 walkoff win over Toronto when he tagged Edwin Diaz’s first pitch for a double that scored Nelson Cruz.

That was the second walkoff of the day after Cleveland’s Francisco Mejia homered off Jake Diekman for a 5-4 victory over Nashville in the defending NL champs’ first game as the Jacks.

The second extra-inning game of the day saw the Berks’ Lux plate two runs with a bases loaded single in the top of the 10th that sparked Berkeley to a 7-5 triumph at Flagstaff.

In other action, Tommy Edman and Daulton Varsho had three hits apiece in Las Vegas’ 5-2 home win over Louisville, and Ottawa’s Lucas Giolito surrendered one run on four hits in eight innings to outduel London’s Adam Wainwright as the Argonauts posted a 4-1 road win.

Calgary and Pittsburgh were idle on Day One and will open with a two-game set at PNC Park before shifting for a single contest at Minute Maid Park

SCORES

Freeman, Soto, Gausman, deGrom claim 2021 PGBL awards

Pittsburgh first baseman and Memphis outfielder Juan Soto captured the 2021 PGBL MVP honors, while Toronto’s Kevin Gausman and Dublin’s Jacob deGrom claimed the Cy Young Awards as the season’s top pitchers.

A unanimous choice, DeGrom claimed the South League accolade for the second time in three seasons after finishing with a PGBL-best 331 strikeouts to go with a 18-6 record and a 1.84 ERA for the Guinness. Twin City’s Dinelson Lamet was a distant second.

Gausman compiled the best record of the year at 21-5 to give the Tigers franchise its first NL award winner since Max Scherzer in 2014. Earning five first-place votes to edge Brooklyn rookie Ian Anderson, Gausman ranked fourth in the North with a 2.46 ERA and compiled 254 Ks in 190 innings.

Soto topped the SL in OPS at 1.020 to pair the SL MVP trophy with his World Series MVP hardware after leading the Melee to the championship. A year after placing third in the balloting, Soto amassed 46 home runs and drove in 106 runs to beat out Flagstaff HR-RBI champ Edwin Rios.

Freeman topped nine of the 10 ballots to give Pittsburgh consecutive NL MVPs following Anthony Rendon’s 2020 honor. He ranked first among NL hitters in slugging percentage (.609), third in on-base (.423) and sixth in average (.319) for a 1.031 OPS that was second in the PGBL. He also placed among the NL’s Top 10 in homers (40), RBI (106), hits (198), runs (128), doubles (56), and walks (107).

Voting

NL MVP
Freddie Freeman, Pittsburgh (9) ….. 120
Brandon Lowe, Vancouver ……………… 63
Marcell Ozuna, Cleveland (1) …………. 56
Dominic Smith, Brooklyn ……………… 50
Teoscar Hernandez, London ………… 48
Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh ………….. 34
Brandon Belt, Toronto ………………….. 27
Tim Locastro, Chicago ………………….. 25
Nelson Cruz, Vancouver ……………… 15
Jesse Winker, Toronto …………………… 9
Three other players received votes
SL MVP
Juan Soto, Memphis (6) …………………. 117
Edwin Rios, Flagstaff (3) …………………. 99
DJ LeMahieu, St. Louis (1) …………….. 83
Paul Goldschmidt, Compton ………….. 41
Trea Turner, Memphis …………………….. 30
Jose Ramirez, Dublin ………………………. 27
Eloy Jimenez, Twin City …………………. 19
Kole Calhoun, Dublin ……………………… 17
Fernando Tatis Jr., Flagstaff ………….. 15
Jacob deGrom, Dublin …………………….. 9
Four other players received votes
NL CY YOUNG
Kevin Gausman, Toronto (5) ……………. 32
Ian Anderson, Brooklyn (4) …………….. 29
Kenta Maeda, Vancouver (1) …………. 22
Dallas Keuchel, Toronto …………………. 4
Liam Hendriks, Pittsburgh ……………… 2
Aaron Nola, Chicago …………………………. 1
SL CY YOUNG
Jacob deGrom, Dublin (10) ……………… 50
Dinelson Lamet, Twin City …………….… 22
Yu Darvish, Dublin …………………………. 11
Shane Bieber, Compton …………………… 5
Tejay Antone, Memphis …………………….. 2

PGBL Awards page

Some changes in store for 2022 PGBL season

With the 2021 MLB regular season now complete, the 2022 PGBL season is approaching quickly. The winter draft is set for Nov. 13 and dates for the waiver draft and opening day will be determined soon.

Some changes are in store for the next season, most notably with two new owners and some changes to the board of commissioners. The new owners bring us back to having all 20 teams owned.

Brandon Czurylo, Doug’s son, becomes the first second-generation owner in PGBL history. He is taking over reigning North League pennant winner Brooklyn and rebranding the team as the Nashville Jacks. Also, two-time PGBL champion Todd Adams (with Key West) has returned to the league and will run Twin City (renamed the Stars). Additionally, Brett has changed his franchise location and nickname and will now be known as the Berkeley Berks.

According to the PGBL rule book, Brandon and Todd will be able to choose new home stadiums for their teams at the draft.

Brett has also decided to step down as a commissioner, although he will continue to operate the game for playing the season. Joe, Alex, and Wes will remain commissioners and will now be joined by Keith and Joel – giving the board an odd number for voting purposes and having at least one representative from each division.

After a league-wide vote, we will be using the MLB extra-inning rule of starting each half-inning with a runner on second base.

Full-season qualifying requirements reverting to the normal standards after being reduced for the shortened 2020 MLB season. Position players must have 200 plate appearances; starting pitchers must have 12 games started and at least 75 innings; and relief pitchers need either 40 appearances or 40 innings pitched.

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