Baseball Scrimmage Report -- 2/3

The pitching wasn't too sharp on Thursday afternoon. The Florida bats took advantage of mistakes, except for when freshman pitcher Karsten Whitson was on the mound. The right-hander continued to impress during his second outing of spring practice.

This scrimmage was different than most. It rained early Thursday morning and the field didn't have a tarp on it. Multiple people worked on the infield throughout the first part of practice. It looked fine, but I would imagine that they didn't want to risk it.

The scrimmage was played with only a pitcher, catcher and outfielders. Assistant coach Brad Weitzel decided whether ground balls in the infield were hits or outs. So when I write something like "Maddox advances to second," keep in mind that there weren't actually base runners. It was judgment calls from the coaches.

Here's the play-by-play:

Anthony DeSclafani pitching-

Nolan Fontana flies out to center.
Austin Maddox singles to center.
Preston Tucker hit by a pitch, Maddox goes to second.
Kamm Washington strikes out.
Nolan Fontana singles to center, scoring Tucker and moving Maddox to second.
Austin Maddox fouls out to first.

THOUGHTS: Maddox's single might be an out, depending on who is playing shortstop. I thought DeSclafani threw the ball better than his line would show at the end of the day. His velocity is improved and his slider got plenty of swings and misses. Fontana's fly out was to the warning track in center field. He is swing the bat well so far.

Karsten Whitson pitching-

Preston Tucker singles to center.
Josh Adams grounds into a double play.
Maddox singles to left.
Washington strikes out looking.

THOUGHTS: Tucker's leadoff single was blooped into center field off the end of his bat. Whitson made a nice play on the hit from Adams. He's a good athlete on the mound. The sequence to Washington was unfair. Whitson threw a first-pitch fastball inside and Washington was too late, fouling it away. The second pitch was a changeup on the outside part of the plate that Washington looked at for strike two. The third pitch was a fastball on the outside corner that Washington looked at for strike three.

Anthony DeSclafani pitching-

Josh Adams hits a line drive at left fielder Daniel Pigott, who drops it and it's ruled an error.
Nolan Fontana flies out to deep right center field.
Preston Tucker doubles to right field, Adams goes to third.
Kamm Washington flies out to left, scoring Adams. Adams strikes out looking.

THOUGHTS: Credit the Florida hitters, because they took advantage of DeSclafani's mistakes. I didn't think he made too many of them, but the hitters made him pay when he did. The strikeout of Adams was a perfect sequence. I was told in the offseason that DeSclafani was getting more movement on his pitches this season, and it looks to be the case.

Karsten Whitson pitching-

Brian Johnson strikes out swinging.
Daniel Pigott singles to right.
Bryson Smith strikes out swinging.
Brian Johnson flies out to center.

THOUGHTS: Whitson threw a first-pitch strike to all eight batters he faced. If you want to earn time on the mound from head coach Kevin O'Sullivan that is the easiest way to do it. Both strikeouts this inning came on sliders in the dirt. The slider really is as good as advertised. Pigott's single was a nice piece of hitting. It was a slider that was in the strike zone, and he stayed on it to hit a line drive into right field.

Greg Larson pitching-

Daniel Pigott singles to center, moves to second on a wild pitch.
Bryson Smith grounds out to second, moving Pigott to third.
Mike Zunino hits a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Pigott.
Brian Johnson singles to center.
Daniel Pigott pops out to shortstop.

THOUGHTS: Larson wasn't sharp on Thursday. He was leaving the ball up in the zone. He has been a pitcher who creates sink and gets ground balls, so it wasn't as good as he normally is. I'm really impressed with the way Pigott swung the bat today.

Austin Maddox pitching-

Bryson Smith singles to center.
Ben McMahan doubles to left field, Smith goes to third.
Zack Powers grounds out to first base, scoring Smith and sending McMahan to third.
Jeff Moyer lines out to second.
Bryson Smith strikes out swinging.

THOUGHTS: Maddox uses a slider as his strikeout pitch, and he got Smith with it for the final out. His velocity has improved since the fall. I would imagine that is part of becoming more used to pitching, as he didn't do it at all during his freshman year. I keep being impressed with McMahan's swing. He will be in the lineup more often than not this year.

Greg Larson pitching-

Zack Powers singled to center.
Jeff Moyer walks, sending Powers to second.
Mike Zunino walks to load the bases.
Paul Wilson singles to center, scoring one and keeping the bases loaded.
Wild pitching scores one and moves runners to second and third.
Vickash Ramjit grounds out to Larson, runners hold at second and third.
Cody Dent strikes out.

THOUGHTS: O'Sullivan called this inning off because Larson's pitch count was getting too high. His control wasn't good today, but I'd imagine it will get better. Powers is swinging the bat well. I don't know what role he will have this season, but he is going to have a great career once he fills out and adds weight.

Austin Maddox-

Tyler Palmer grounds out to shortstop.
Ben McMahan strikes out swinging.
Alex Freedman singles to left.
Jacob Tillotson singles to left.
Connor Mitchell grounds out to the pitcher.

THOUGHTS: Maddox threw sliders to McMahan for the second and third strikes that were really good. I don't think Maddox will be a go-to guy late in a close SEC game, but he's a great arm to have to throw a few innings and save arms potentially in the midweek. I also like Freedman a lot. I don't think he'll play a lot this year, but if he has a good offseason, I think he has a shot to take over for Adams at second base in 2012.

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