Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010
By Kevin Czerwinski
Robert Young waited a bit for Thursday night, nearly two months in fact. His first professional victory, however, proved to be worth the wait as Bristol squeaked by Burlington, 1-0, at Burlington Athletic Stadium.
Young, whom the White Sox selected out of Dartmouth in the 31st round of Junes First-Year Player Draft, went a career-best seven innings while allowing only two hits. He fanned a season-high five and walked only one.
His effort shouldnt have come as much of a surprise, though. Young (1-3) didnt allow an earned run in his last start at home against Johnson City and has now allowed only two earned runs in his last 17 13 innings.
Its definitely been a long time coming, Young told CSNChicago.com. I had luck go my way tonight and its better to be lucky than good sometimes and that definitely happened tonight. If a few things go different, its a different outcome. Things are getting better, though and Im making progress each time out.
While Young credits some of his success on Thursday to luck there was also a bit of skill involved. He recently incorporated a slider into his repertoire and used it masterfully against Burlington. Young had never used a slider much before the last few weeks, even in his college days, but when his curveball was beginning to become less effective against right-hander hitters, he knew he needed to find an out pitch.
Bristol pitching coach Curt Hasler helped Young find the panacea, introducing him to the slider. Young worked on it in the bullpen and discussed it with Hasler in between innings the results Thursday were impressive.
I worked on it before my last outing against Johnson City and it proved to be very beneficial, Young said. I was struggling with the curve. It was getting slow and loopy and I needed a breaking ball for right-handers and I started fiddling with a slider. I wound a grip that worked and it worked very well tonight.
I toyed around with it in college but I never got too accustomed to throwing it. My pitching coach was a big advocate of mastering three pitches for strikes. So sometimes I had the curve working, sometimes the changeup and on a few occasions both. So I was never at a point where I needed a slider. But when I got here it was pretty apparent that I needed a better breaking ball. He said how about a slider and its worked well so far.
Young also kept the ball down in the zone against Burlington, adhering to another point Hasler has been stressing. He allowed singles in the third and fifth innings, pitching out of both tight spots. Burlington also put two men on in the fourth but Young got Geoffrey Baldwin looking for the third out.
Things are getting better and better each time out and thats always a plus, Young said. I would have liked to have started closer to where I am now but at least Im making progress.
Chase Blackwoods seventh-inning homer gave Young the victory.
The idea is to go out every outing and not give up a single run, Young said. It just makes it more important when you know were not pushing any runs across. I knew I needed to have a good outing, though. I havent pitched the way I know I can this summer.
So personally, I replayed every inning in my head, took them one at a time and figured out what was working mechanics wise.
Ryan Buch continued his impressive run as a starting pitcher Thursday night as the Intimidators blanked Savannah, 2-0, at Grayson Stadium.
Buch (4-0) improved to 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in six starts after scattering four hits over six innings. He tied a season high with six strikeouts and didnt walk a batter. He had been 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in four starts at Bristol in late June and early July.
Kannapolis scored both their runs on Ian Gacs two-run double in the first inning.
In other action, Winston-Salems game at Wilmington was rained out and will not be made up. The dash also announced that their Sept. 2 game against Lynchburg was moved from 7 PM to noon. Durham defeated Charlotte, 6-2, at Durham Athletic Park. Jeff Marquez (8-6) took the loss after surrendering three runs on seven hits in five innings. Jeremy Reed had a single and an RBI, giving him seven RBIs in the series. ... Birmingham dropped an 8-6 decision at Mobile despite collecting 15 hits. Justin Edwards allowed eight runs in 4 23 innings.
Mark Reed scored on an eighth-inning wild pitch Thursday night to give Daytona an 8-7 victory over Dunedin at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Cubs had scored three seventh-inning runs to tie the score at 7-7. Rebel Ridlings RBI double knotted things up. Ridling also had a two-run homer in Daytonas three-run third inning. Alex Maestri picked up the victory after allowing one run in three innings of relief. The victory, combined with Tampas loss at Clearwater, pushed the Cubs into first place by a game in the Florida State Leagues North Division.
In other action, Tennessee banged out 10 hits at Chattanooga yet still dropped a 5-3 decision to the Lookouts. Brandon Guyer remained hot, though, collecting two of those hits, both of which were homers. He drove in three as he extended his hitting streak to 16 games. Hes batting .459 (28-for-61) during the streak with four homers and 22 RBIs. Beloit bested Peoria, 2-0, scoring both its runs in the seventh inning. Brett Wallach, making his third start since coming over in the deadline deal with the Dodgers, had his best outing with the Chiefs, tossing two-hit shutout ball over six innings. Peoria, however, managed only four hits.
Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at email@example.com.