Eddie Gamboa came close in his previous start.
So last Sunday, he didn't let his chance of throwing a no-hitter get away.
Gamboa, a 28-year-old converted knuckleballer from UC Davis, tossed the Bowie Baysox's first no-hitter in six years and beat the visiting Harrisburg Senators 7-0 in the first game of an Eastern League (Double-A)doubleheader at Prince George's Stadium. He struck out five, walked three and threw 103 pitches, 58 for strikes. The second game was rained out.
In Gamboa's previous start on June 23, the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder allowed an eighth-inning single in a 1-0 victory over Altoona.
"You shoot for perfection," Gamboa told MiLB.com. "Every pitcher that goes out there tries for that. You step on the mound and you go for a perfect game. No matter what level you're at, a no-hitter is a difficult thing to do. I'm very excited and grateful to have this moment with the Bowie Baysox ."
Bowie pitchers have thrown nine no-hitters, the previous one by Radhames Liz in nine innings against the Senators (June 1, 2007).
Gamboa, who was tutored in the art of throwing the knuckleball by Hall of Famer Phil Niekro during spring training, said he had been tinkering with different grips on the ball.
"I used to really grip it deep in my hand. Now I'm loose on it, just on my fingertips," Gamboa told MiLB.com. "It has been good and consistent, and it has been moving. My biggest worry is always that it won't move at all. I don't want to go up there and just throw BP."
When Niekro heard of Gamboa's accomplishment, he gave the Baltimore Orioles' farmhand a call.
"It's not every day that you get a call from a Hall of Famer," the right-hander told MiLB.com. "He has been working with me a lot, and I wouldn't be throwing the knuckleball without him. He told me congratulations and he said he was proud of me. He was excited for me and he told me to keep throwing it.
"Last week, I had a 1-0 lead and I threw a 3-1 fastball because I was more concerned about the win than the no-hitter. Today I had a cushion and threw 3-1 (count) knuckleballs."
Gamboa retired the first 13 batters of the game, got eight groundouts and four fly-ball outs and had five strikeouts. He pitched the final inning in heavy rain.
Jays have another Moseby
Lydell Moseby (Granite Bay, American River) has signed a free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and has been assigned to their rookie team in the Gulf Coast League.
Moseby was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-America Second Team shortstop. He also played catcher, third base, first base and outfield for Benedict College of Columbia, S.C., this season.
Moseby also was named the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's Utility Player of the Year after batting .418 and ranking second in the nation with a .799 slugging percentage.
Moseby's father, Lloyd, played 10 seasons for the Blue Jays. He was drafted by Toronto in 1978 (second overall) and was an All-Star outfielder in 1986. He played his final two seasons (1990-91) with the Detroit Tigers.
Columbus closer Preston Guilmet (Oakmont) was chosen for the International League team for the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 17 in Reno.
Lee University's Josh Silver (Franklin, Cosumnes River) was named the Gold Glove winner at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. The junior shortstop had seven assists and 13 putouts in 21 chances. Silver also hit .375 (6 for 16) with a home run, seven runs scored and five RBIs. Silver, who helped lead the Cleveland, Tenn., school to a No. 2 NAIA ranking, was the Flames' batting leader this season (.384).
Dunedin, Toronto's Advanced-A club in the Florida State League, has a Sacramento-area flavor. On the roster are catcher Derrick Chung (Sacramento State), first baseman Gabe Jacobo (Sac State) and outfielder Nick Baligod (Sacramento City).
The Seattle Mariners acquired infielder Ty Kelly (UC Davis) from the Orioles for outfielder Eric Thames. Kelly was assigned to Triple-A Tacoma and hit a home run on the Fourth of July. He hit only one long ball for Double-A Bowie in 283 at-bats.
The Colorado Rockies released Colorado Springs right-hander Drew Carpenter (Sac City), and the Newark Bears of the independent Cam Am League released outfielder J.J. Sherrill (Sac City).
Mark McDermott is a freelance writer specializing in Sacramento-area baseball. Contact him firstname.lastname@example.org.