Pitching in his second big league start, Don Ferrarese lost what would have been Baltimore’s first no-hitter in the ninth inning versus the New York Yankees on this day in Orioles history, May 12, 1956.
The 27-year-old Ferrarese had pitched 10 games in relief between 1955 and the beginning of the 1956 season before getting his first start on May 5, 1956. He pitched a complete game and struck out 13 batters but lost the contest 2-1 after allowing a run-scoring double in the ninth inning.
What do you do for an encore after a debut like that? Chase a no-hitter, that’s what.
The ninth inning was again unkind to Ferrarese one week after his 13-strikeout performance versus Cleveland. After no-hitting the Yankees on the road through eight innings, he allowed a lead-off single to third baseman Andy Carey in the final inning on May 12. Future O’s manager Hank Bauer also managed a single off Ferrarese, but the southpaw held onto the shutout and earned his first major league win by a 1-0 score.
Ferrarese’s numbers after two starts looked like this: 18 innings pitched, eight hits, two runs, six walks, and 21 strikeouts. Regardless, he never became a full-time starter during his three years in Baltimore nor during his eight overall years in the big leagues.
Hoyt Wilhelm delivered the Orioles’ first no-hitter two seasons later on Sept. 20, 1958. The final out of that game came on a pop-up by … Hank Bauer.