Orange & Blue World Series - Day 2

Junior Daniel Pigott blasted a three-run home run to spark the Blue over the Orange in the second day of the Orange and Blue World Series. Freshman right-hander Karston Whiston, who turned down a reported $2.1 million after being selected in the first-round by the San Diego Padres, shutout the Orange, as the freshmen hurlers took center stage today at McKethan Stadium.

Daniel Pigott went 2-for-2 today, after a disappointing day at the plate yesterday. University of Miami transfer Vickash Ramjit collected three singles today and added another stolen base for the Blue. Right fielder Preston Tucker added a double and single for the Blue as he continued to swing the bat very well.

It wasn't a stellar day for Whitson, but anytime you keep the opponent off the scoreboard is a very good day. Whitson surrendered three walks, but was able to pitch out of a jam in the third inning after loading the bases with a single and two walks. He struck out Paul Wilson and got Kamm Washington to ground out to end the game. Whitson secured two strikeouts today.

Right-hander Jonathan Crawford suffered through a four-run second inning for the Orange after surrendering just a lone single to Austin Maddox in the first inning. Crawford definitely had the more difficult assignment of the two freshmen, facing Preston Tucker, Maddox, Ben McMahan, and Ramjit.

Crawford started with a bang, fanning leadoff hitter Cody Dent on four pitches. He followed with a tremendous defensive assist as Josh Adams made a superb play on a ball hit by Tucker to first base. Adams kept the ball in front of him and threw over to Crawford, who was covering. After Maddox singled, Crawford made a nice play on a comebacker to the mound launched off the bat of McMahan. He went to his left, gathered the ball and threw on to Adams for the final out.

The second inning proved to be difficult for Crawford though. Ramjit led off with a beautiful bunt that Crawford was unable to field in time to throw out the runner (a situational addition by the coaches) to second base. Pigott followed by depositing Crawford's first pitch into the left field bleachers. Ramjit followed with a single up the middle. (Batters who are successful bunting are sent back up to the plate following the on-deck hitter). Crawford lost Cody Dent on a 3-2 pitch to give the Blue two runners. Tucker then drove in Dent with a single to left field to give the Blue a 4-0 lead. He got Maddox to fly out to second base to finally end the inning. Neither team scored in the third inning.

Game #2

The second game featured left-hander Daniel Gibson and the Orange squad versus right-hander Keenan Kish and the Blue team. Thongs did not go well early for Gibson. Cody Dent reached with one out on an error by first baseman Mike Zunino. Tucker followed with a double that was beautifully hit down the right field line giving the Blue runners in scoring position. Maddox lifted a 1-1 pitch to right field that scored Dent and moved Tucker to third base. McMahan flew out to left field for the final out.

Gibson cruised through the final two innings giving up a hit to Ramjit, while striking out three on the day. He really did a nice job of mixing his breaking ball with a lively fastball.

Kish ran into trouble in the second inning, He issued a leadoff walk and single by freshman Zack Powers. Kish then hit Alex Freedman to load the bases. Shortstop Nolan Fontana then singled to score a run. Kish then got Paul Wilson to hit into a double play, which allowed Freedman to score. Kish then struck out Washington, but the Orange had taken the lead.

The Orange offense got started early in the third on Zunino's single to short. Jacob Tillotson was able to get his glove on the ball with a diving grab, but was unable to get to his feet and throw out Zunino. Adams drove him home when he powered a ball to deep center field for a double. Santa Fe transfer Jeff Moyer then picked-up his first hit of the series with a single through the gap on the right side of the infield. Tyler Thompson then singled up the middle to score Adams for the final score.

The Gators will wrap-up the Orange & Blue World Series tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m.

Notes

These are four talented freshmen pitchers. They located pretty well and all of them have good breaking balls. There were times they lost focus. At this level, you can't afford to lose focus on a batter or you'll pay. They have the stuff, now it's just getting them to concentrate and bear down. A very impressive group.

As I mentioned earlier, Crawford and Gibson had to pitch against the gauntlet of Tucker, Maddox, McMahan, and Ramjit. We haven't seen the power from Ramjit, but he does have a nice approach at the plate. Ramjit could definitely prove valuable with his ability to bunt. He worked at third and first base today. It's been a nice job of hitting the past two days.

Adams robbed Tucker of a base hit. Tucker is really is finishing off fall ball strong offensively.

It was good to see Pigott come back after a difficult day at the plate yesterday. He really did a nice job.

It was equally good to see Adams play so well today both offensively and defensively. He threw out a runner playing catcher today.


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