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TBT: Devin Smelter Shines With a No-No

03/09/2023 10:05 AM

Article By: CCBL Public Relations Office

TBT: Devin Smeltzer Shines With a No-No
By: Sarah Steinberg; feature from 2015 CCBL All-Star Program

The definition of a no-hitter is “A game in which a pitcher, or pitchers, give up no hits while pitching at least nine innings. A pitcher may give up a run, so long as he does not give up a hit.”

On June 20th, Hyannis Harbor Hawks pitcher Devin Smeltzer (Florida Gulf Coast) faced 28 Harwich Mariners in nine innings, not allowing a hit, fanning four, and walking just one.

Smeltzer’s no-hitter was announced by Hyannis broadcaster Sammy O’Brien, who is the only female to call a no-hitter in Cape League history.

An average of three no-hitters occur each season in MLB, but that is not the case here. Prior to Smeltzer’s gem, the last Cape League no-hitter came on June 22, 2013. That one was a collective effort from Bourne’s Austin Gomber, Josh Laxer, and Ryan Harris. The trio combined to no-hit Cotuit in an 8-0 victory at Lowell Park.

Cotuit’s Chad Bell threw a no-hitter at Chatham in 2009. Matt Daly threw a no-hitter for Hyannis at home against Wareham in 2007.

While most of these achievements have been spread out, it was a different story in 2006, when two pitches stymied their opponents.

Yarmouth-Dennis pitcher Terry Doyle (Boston College) threw a no-hitter against the Chatham A’s that month. A single walk was the only flaw keeping Doyle from a perfect game. He struck out 12 batters.

Later that July, Charlie Furbush (St. Joseph’s) of Hyannis threw a no-hitter. Any other pitcher in the Cape League gets pulled after 116 pitches in eight innings, no-hitter on the line or not. But Furbush showed why he wasn’t just any other pitcher, cementing his spot as the West Division All-Star starter in 2006 with a remarkable 133-pitch performance against Bourne.

The Braves were blown out 14-0 by the then Hyannis Mets, but with each passing inning, the lopsided score mattered less than the drama unfolding on the mound. Furbush struck out 12, allowed three walks, and hit a batter.

In 1993, Matt Morris went six hitless innings for Hyannis, enough for an official game.

Another Hyannis Met, and Cape League Hall of Famer, Pat Hope pitched the league’s only known modern-era perfect game in 1987, beating Wareham. That year Morris went 11-1 with 13 complete games (both league records), with 115 innings pitched and 96 strikeouts.

The earliest no-hitter in modern Cape League history came on Aug. 4, 1967, a complete seven-inning contest between Chatham and Harwich. Dan Gabriel chalked up the no-hitter for Chatham, despite allowing five walks and one run.

As Sandy Koufax once put it, “You’ve got to be lucky, but if you have good stuff, it’s easier to be lucky.”