Valley Press Staff Writer
LANCASTER — As roommates, Josh Hader, J.D. Osborne and Daniel Minor are bound to make plenty of memories this season.
But it’s likely that nothing will top Tuesday night.
The trio combined to no-hit the team with the California League’s best record, leading the JetHawks to a 1-0 win over Bakersfield on a magical night at The Hangar.
“It’s pretty cool that roommates could be able to do something like this,” Minor said. “It’s definitely something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
“I think it makes it that much better that we live together and pretty much do everything together. This is just amazing.”
Added Hader: “How many times can you say that you’ve thrown a no-hitter? Especially with us three doing it … it’s pretty cool that we have a no-hitter in our house now.”
Hader tossed the first six frames before Osborne threw a pair of hitless innings. Minor came in for the ninth and struck out Bakersfield’s Kyle Waldrop for the final out, setting off a celebration near the mound in front of a fired up Lancaster crowd.
The historic feat was also somewhat eerie, as it came a year and a day after the JetHawks’ last no-hitter.
Kyle Hallock and Luis Cruz teamed up to no-hit Stockton on May 12 last year, on Mother’s Day. The accomplishment of Hader, Osborne and Minor is the third no-hitter in franchise history.
“That was by design,” JetHawks manager Rodney Linares said with a chuckle about the no-hitters almost coming on the same day. “It was just a really special night.
“And it was fun because we beat a really good team.”
Hader, who improved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.56, scattered four walks and struck out six in his 90-pitch outing. The lefty said he was reluctant about coming out after six innings.
“I knew I had (the no-hitter),” Hader said. “I was just trying to get outs and make the pitches I needed to.
“I knew I was right around (90 pitches) and was shaking my head coming off the mound. I wanted them to keep me in but you have to follow the rules.”
Osborne issued a one-out walk before inducing a perfectly timed 5-4-3 double play to end the seventh. He then shut the Blaze in the eighth with a 1-2-3 inning.
“That was big,” Osborne said of the double play. “I was able to throw a sinker in the zone and Rio (Ruiz) and (Tony) Kemp made a great play for me.”
Minor, meanwhile, warmed up in the bullpen with his heart pounding before retiring Bakersfield in order to cap off the memorable night.
“You can’t block out something like that sitting in the bullpen,” Minor said. “The scoreboard was right there … I just wanted to match what they did.”
While Jordan Scott provided the JetHawks with their lone run on an RBI single in the second, players and coaches spent the rest of the night trying not to think too much about what was happening.
“I kind of have a full view of that scoreboard out there so I was aware of it the whole game,” said catcher Jake Rodriguez. “I was hoping they would stay within the zone and they did.”
While his pitchers slowly marched their way toward history, Linares tried to keep things as routine as possible in the dugout.
That even meant holding off on going to the restroom for almost two hours.
“After the fourth inning, I wanted to go to the bathroom but I couldn’t do it,” Linares said. “I just came in and flipped my helmet like I always do, wrote down the numbers and stood there.
“I did the exact same thing every time.”
Hader and Osborne, meanwhile, sat next to each other in the dugout and hardly flinched.
“Baseball players are pretty superstitious so nobody really moved,” Hader said.
Not until Minor got Waldrop swinging, of course. Then no one could sit still.