Tide throws no-hitter

Published 8:09 pm Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chris Tillman fired Norfolk’s first nine-inning no-hitter in 18 years Wednesday night at Gwinnett, leading the Tides to a 6-0 win.

“I didn’t realize what was going on until the fifth or sixth inning. Once I realized what was happening, I started noticing everyone scooting down on the bench and no one would sit next to me,” Tillman said.

The no-hitter was the first shutout and first complete game of the 22-year-old right hander’s career. His last start, a win at Charlotte on April 23, was Tillman’s first time going eight innings.

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Tillman struck out six and walked one. The only trouble Tillman ran into came in the fifth inning. A leadoff walk was erased with a double play grounder. Gwinnett’s Joe Thurston grounded a sharp ball off the glove of first baseman Michael Aubury for an error, but Tilllman struck out Wes Timmons to end the inning.

From there, Tillman retired the final 12 Braves he faced. Tillman got Matt Young to ground out to shortstop Robert Andino for the final out. Tillman faced only one Brave hitter over the minimum.

The rest of the Tides rushed Tillman on the mound after the final out.

“I didn’t think they were going to do that. It was real cool to have those guys behind by back. It’s a good feeling, especially with the guys I’ve been with for awhile,” Tillman said.

Jeff Salazar had two hits and two RBI to lead Norfolk’s offense. Joey Gathright added two hits and a run.

“My team did a great job behind me. Early in the game there was a great play in center field and the catcher did a great job with some of the pitcher,” Tillman said.

“I was just working on things here. I was working on my fast ball command, on that cutter, on throwing that curve ball for strikes. I think it all fell together tonight,” he said.

Norfolk’s last nine-inning no-hitter was thrown by Dave Telgheder on May 15, 1992 against Pawtucket.

The Tides (9-12) conclude an eight-game road trip and the series at Gwinnett Friday. The Tides return to Harbor Park Saturday evening to start a four-game series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.