Rick Balabon came back to haunt the Prince William Cannons last night. The first-round draft pick by the New York Yankees in the 1987 supplemental draft pitched a no-hitter through seven innings to lead Peninsula to a 4-1 win over the Cannons in front of 2,312 chilly fans at Prince William County Stadium.
Balabon (6-2) finally settled for a three-hitter while striking out 13. Ed Martel (2-7) took the loss in the opener of this four-game series.
"This is the best I've felt all year," said Balabon. "Eddie beat me last time at our place, so it was a little revenge involved."
Balabon retired 19 of the first 21 batters, issuing a leadoff walk to Herb Erhardt in the third. J.T. Snow lined a single to right-center with one out in the seventh to break up the no-hitter.
Martel retired Peninsula's first six batters but ran into trouble in the third. Bobby Holley led off with a soft single to center for the first hit of the game, was sacrificed to second and scored on Mark Brakebill's single to right-center.
The Pilots (15-39) loaded the bases in the fourth, scoring three runs on four hits in taking a 4-0 lead. Lash Bailey singled to left, followed by hits from Kelvin Thomas and Jimmy Campanis. Bailey scored when Holley grounded out to third. Delvin Thomas rapped a single up the middle to score Thomas, his twin, and Campanis.
In the meantime, Balabon struck out every Cannons batter he faced at least once.
After Snow lined singled in the seventh, he went to second on Jesus Taverez's fielding error and scored on Russ Davis's two-out double.