That is exactly what happened recently for Nic Ungs (2-1, 3.25), who has reached Triple-A and went 4-7, 5.45 as a starter for the Somerset (NJ) Patriots of the Atlantic League this past summer.
Ungs, a 32-year-old right-hander from Alpharetta, GA, missed out on the perfect game when Brisbane's Brad Dutton shot a drive into rightfield. It was barely out of the reach of Melbourne first baseman Justin Huber, ironically, a teammate of the pitcher at Somerset.
Ungs is said to have already pitched one no-hitter in his career, which includes more than 70 professional victories.
INDY HURLERS 1-2-3 IN VENEZUELA
Former Independent pitchers Eric Junge, Mike Parisi and Austin Bibens-Dirkx hold down the top three spots in the earned run average race in Venezuela this winter. Junge, at last report a free agent after working in the Los Angeles Angels farm system last summer, has a fancy 1.78 ERA and has won three of four decisions. He has played at both Lancaster, PA and Bridgeport, CT in the Atlantic League. Parisi, signed last season by the Los Angeles Dodgers after a stint at Long Island, NY in the same league, is 1-3, 2.09. Bibens-Dirkx spent his Indy time with Victoria, British Columbia, in the Golden League, and is the league-leader with seven victories (7-3) while ranking third in the ERA derby at 2.19. After being released this fall by the Chicago Cubs system, he has been a hard worker, starting 13 times so far.
John Rodriguez, who has been with Long Island the last two seasons, leads the Puerto Rican league with seven home runs, and shares fifth in RBI (17) with onetime Ducks catcher Robinson Cancel. The hefty Cancel, who has had several trips to the major leagues including a couple of games with Houston last season, also has played for Somerset and the traveling Road Warriors in the Atlantic League as well as with Edinburg, TX, when that North American League city had a team in the United League.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE INDEPENDENT BASEBALL INSIDER FOR 2012. Subscriptions to the Insider $48 from now through December, 2012.
REQUEST A FREE WEEK OF THE INDEPENDENT BASEBALL INSIDER
Get the independent minor league baseball trivia question of the day by clicking this link: Independent Minor League Baseball Trivia Questions