Colt Smith 6-3 190 JR. NWCC Right handed pitcher took the mound to open the game for the Grey squad. Colt showed a fastball in the 88-90 range and spotted it well. He also threw a hard slider for strikes. He was impressive in one inning of work. holding the Black squad scoreless and registering two strikeouts. Smith is very much in the running to be the Sunday starter. Although his time on the mound was short, the way he threw was encouraging. Here is a little background info on Colt Smith. At NWCC he was a two-time all MACJC second team selection. During his Soph. season he appeared in 14 games and had 13 starts. Smith went 4-2 with a 3.61 ERA, striking out 40 and walking 22 in 71 innings of work. He went 6-2 as a freshman with a 2.88 ERA.
Hayden Roberts took the mound for the Black squad. Roberts put in a solid six innings of work recording four strikeouts over a single walk. He only had one shaky inning early giving up several hard hit balls when his fastball was to high in the zone. He settled down after that inning spotting his fastball well and showing an effective breaking ball. In the fourth, Roberts found himself in a little trouble with a runner on second and third with two outs. He struck out Braley on a nice breaking ball to get out of the inning. It was good to see him deliver in a pressure situation to a very dangerous batter.
Casey Maack played short for the Black squad Friday. Casey has seen time at short, second, and left field. The staff is working to find different ways to get Maack's bat into the lineup. Casey was swinging it again Friday as he welcomed reliever Hunter Stevens with a two run bomb that cleared the scoreboard.
Catcher Cole Donaldson was again impressive, following Casey Maack's homer off Stevens with one of his own to left center. Donaldson was also impressive defensively gunning down the fastest player on the team in Leemarcus Boyd on an attempted steal at second base.
Matt Wallner started in center for the Black squad and went 1 for 3 on the day with a sharp single to right field. Wallner looks to be the opening day starter in center.
Shortstop Leemarcus Boyd was solid in the field and went 1 for 3 at the plate with a big RBI single up the middle.
Hunter Slater was 1 for 4 with a sharp single to right. They have been batting Slater in the two hole this Spring behind lead off batter Burdeaux.
Reliever Trent Driver did his job coming in late to strikeout slugger Dylan Burdeaux with a nasty breaking ball. The Eagles appear to have two solid choices coming out of the pen in righty sidewinders Driver and Nick Sandlin.
Nick Sandlin was impressive in his one inning of work spotting a 91-92 MPH fastball along with a breaking ball that had right handed batters struggling to make contact. Sandlin closed out the game using that nasty breaking ball to record the final out with a strikeout.
A nice position battle that appears on going is between Tracey Hadley and Storme Cooper for the job at second base. Hadley brings more pop with the bat and speed on the base path, while Cooper is extremely solid in the field. I imagine we will see both of them get starts at second throughout the early part of the season. Obviously Hadley will handle third base when Taylor Braley is pitching.