Two of the most rarely accomplished feats in baseball are throwing a no-hitter and hitting for the cycle; Chatham A's alumni achieved both of these in the last week, and both early in each player's tenure with his respective team. Alex Presley ('05) had only two games under his belt with Triple-A Indianapolis before Sunday's 5-for-6 performance, needing only five innings to complete the cycle. Nathan Moreau ('06, '07) was less than 24 hours into his stint with High-A Frederick when he tossed the first no-hitter for the Keys in nearly 20 years.
Presley, an eighth round draft choice by Pittsburgh in 2006, had the third-highest batting average on the Cape in 2005 (.341), but never eclipsed .300 in his first four seasons of professional ball. A torrid start to the outfielder's first season in the Eastern League with Double-A Altoona propelled him to the top of the stat sheet and the depth chart. Leading the Curve in hitting (.350) and runs batted in (47) through the first five dozen games, Presley got the call to the Pirates' top farm team June 25.
Debuting in left field and batting in the five hole, Presley's lone hit, a lead-off double in the sixth inning, started a six-run rally for the Indians, en route to a 9-8 victory. (Jeff Frazier of the 2003 Chatham A's hit his 15th homer for Toledo in a losing effort.) A 1-for-4 performance as a center fielder a day later led to a bump to the prestigious three spot for Sunday's game. The former Ole Miss Rebel relished the opportunity, tripling in the first, singling in the second, homering in the third, and doubling in the fifth. Another single for good measure came in the sixth, capping the Monroe, LA native's five-hit, two-RBI performance and a 15-3 win for Indianapolis.
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Moreau, picked by Baltimore in the 2008 draft's 11th round, pitched to a sub-three earned run average in over sixty innings to start 2010 with Single-A Delmarva. The southpaw from Lilburn, GA made more appearances as a reliever than a starter for the Shorebirds, but his first game with High-A Frederick was a short-notice starting assignment. Joining the club just hours before game time Wednesday, the former Georgia Bulldog reunited with several players with whom he played on his way through the Orioles minor league system and settled in quickly.
Moreau's first five innings in a Keys uniform were flawless, but his own throwing error in the sixth led to the Salem Red Sox' first baserunner. The only other man to reach against Moreau was a former Chatham teammate, Tim Federowicz ('07) out of UNC-Chapel Hill, who made it to first on a fielding error. The 23-year-old Moreau faced only 29 hitters, striking out six and walking none in the Keys' 7-0 win. His first career complete game came with an exclamation, a swinging strikeout of a former Orleans Cardinal, Alex Hassan, to seal the Carolina League's first nine-inning, individual no-hitter in six years.
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