GLENDALE, Ariz. -- He knows fans are on the Florida Gulf Coast bandwagon and Chris Sale has no issue with it at all.
The White Sox pitcher had a smile on his face in the clubhouse on Monday morning after his alma mater, the No. 15-seeded Eagles pulled off another upset, this one over the alma mater of teammate Addison Reed (and an unnamed member of the media), San Diego State.
Only 15 years old, the school has little history attached. But on Monday highlights of Sunday’s 10-point win over the Aztecs appeared everywhere, including on the Today Show.
“At a school like that we need all the fans we can get,” Sale said. “It’s creating a stir and a buzz around Florida, Fort Meyers and really the nation. It’s fun to be able to watch. … Not only are they winning, but they’re winning in a fun way. They’re throwing it down.”
Florida Gulf Coast next plays in the fourth round of the NCAA Tournament where it will face Florida. No matter how his school fares, Sale, whose wife Brianne also attended, has already had the last laugh.
“It’s well deserved too, especially coming from where they are,” Sale said. “Last night was a little bit more fun for me not only from a personal standpoint of going to the school but getting to talk a little trash [Monday].”
Crain feels good
The results don’t indicate how White Sox reliever Jesse Crain said he felt. Crain, who had been limited to one previous Cactus League appearance because of an adductor strain, allowed four runs (three earned), three hits and walked one in 2/3 of an inning.
A scout said Crain’s fastball velocity registered at 93-94 mph.
Ventura said Crain -- who appeared in minor-league games on Wednesday and Saturday -- told him he felt good and the right-hander has a big outing ahead of him on Wednesday. The manager also noted Crain will likely pitch in Milwaukee on Friday and the team can hold off on its decision until the weekend.
“That’s the second time I’ve been out there with the adrenaline going,” Crain said. “Minor league games aren’t quite the same as out there. So, it’s important for me to get out there and get that adrenaline going and see how I responded. Health wise, it was great. And even pitch wise, it was all right. It doesn’t show on the numbers but I’m not worried about that right now. I’m worried about feeling good. I’m looking forward to my next outing and hopefully being a little crisper on Wednesday.”
Floyd gets hit hard
Gavin Floyd’s stat line for the spring is a little deceiving.
On one hand, the right-hander has a 6.10 ERA after he allowed seven earned runs and 13 hits in seven-plus innings in an 11-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. Floyd has given up 31 hits this spring in 20 2/3 innings.
But then there’s his strikeout to walk ratio, which stands at 21:3.
Last season, Floyd struck out 144 and walked 63 in 168 innings.
“He has that ability and there’s a lot of bad swings when he’s up there pitching,” Ventura said. “If he has it and it’s coming out of his hand well, it’s one of those where he has great stuff. It’s just piecing it together for seven to eight innings.”
The White Sox moved up one pick in the opening round of June’s amateur draft when the Milwaukee Brewers forfeited a first-round selection to sign pitcher Kyle Lohse. Milwaukee’s No. 17 pick disappears and St. Louis receives a compensatory pick at the end of the first round instead. The White Sox originally were scheduled to pick 18th overall. ... A Chicagobusiness.com report found that the White Sox average ticket price has dropped to $26.05, down 10 percent from last season. The team’s average is also less than the league average price, $26.99. ... Nate Jones allowed a hit in a scoreless inning to keep his 0.00 spring ERA intact. Jones has struck out six in six innings. ... Shortstop Alexei Ramirez went 0-for-4 but drove in two runs.