The last time an Iowa Cubs (18-13) pitcher threw a no-hitter was almost 30 years ago when Reggie Patterson accomplished the feat on August 21, 1984. Enter Chris Rusin. 10,770 fans at Zephyr Field watched Rusin toss a gem and cement his name in Iowa Cubs history on Wednesday afternoon in a 3-0 whitewashing of the New Orleans Zephyrs (14-20).
Rusin (2-4) only allowed three base-runners on the afternoon, allowing two walks while another runner reached on catcher’s interference. With one runner erased on a double play, Rusin faced only 29 batters, two over the minimum.
If there wasn’t already enough drama, the play of the game also turned out to be the final out of the game. With two outs on the ninth, Zephyrs second baseman Josh Rodriguez hit a flare to center. Matt Szczur came charging in from center field and made a diving catch to secure the out and the no-hitter.
Iowa scored all three of its runs in the second inning off Zephyrs starter Matt Montgomery (0-2). Josh Vitters scored the first run of the game on a passed ball by catcher Kyle Skipworth. After walks to Brett Jackson and Luis Flores, Rusin lined a two-run single to left, giving Iowa a 3-0 lead.
Rusin threw 118 pitches on the afternoon, 72 of them for strikes and becomes the first pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization to throw a no-hitter since now teammate Eric Jokisch accomplished the feat for the double-A Tennessee Smokies on August 6, 2013 against the Jacksonville Suns.