The final week of fall practice is underway and I was able to catch Tuesday's intra-squad game. Here are some notes :
* The team spilt up into two squads and played a seven-inning game. The team A lineup was as follows: Sam Fuld (CF), Andy Topham (SS), Chris O'Riordan (2B), Ryan Garko (C), Arik VanZandt (1B), Billy Paganetti (1B), Andrew Cleary (DH). Team B's lineup was: Danny Putnam (CF), Jonny Ash (2B), Brian Hall (3B), Carlos Quentin (RF), Chris Carter (1B), Donny Lucy (C), Tobin Swope (SS), Scott Dragicevich (DH).
* Team B defeated Team A by the score of 5-3 behind a solid pitching performance by Drew Ehrlich and some clutch hitting from Brian Hall. Ehrlich dominated this afternoon tossing six very quality innings. The sophomore righthander gave up six hits, two runs (one earned), walked none, and struck out two. He was in complete control, constantly firing in first-pitch strikes and was very efficient. He didn't give up a run until the sixth inning and had three perfect 1-2-3 frames. Topham (0-for-3 versus Ehrlich), O'Riordan (0-for-3), Garko (1-for-3), and Paganetti (0-for-3) all had very little success against Ehrlich.
* The hitting stars of the victorious Team B included Brian Hall, Chris Carter, and Donny Lucy. Hall continued his torrid hitting this fall with an impressive 4-for-4 performance. Two of those hits were doubles while he also drove in three runs. Chris Carter (2-for-3) and Donny Lucy (2-for-3) also had multi-hit games. Carter come the closest to hitting one out when he hit a double off the very top of the wall in right center.
* Team A got a solid performance from Sam Fuld. The speedy centerfielder had three of his team's seven hits on the afternoon. Arik VanZandt was the only other player with a multi-hit game (2-for-3, double). Team A trailed 5-2 heading into the seventh inning but mounted a rally against new pitcher Mike O'Banion. With two outs, VanZandt walked, Paganetti singled and Cleary walked to load the bases. Fuld then stepped up and drew a walk to bring home the team's third run of the game. With the tying run at second, O'Banion settled down and got Topham to fly out to center and end the game.
* Freshman Mark Jecmen started on the hill for Team A. Jecmen went only two innings yielding three runs and three walks while striking out one. The 6'8" righthander despite getting hit around some today appears to have very good stuff. He throws hard and has got a nasty curve ball. When facing Brian Hall, he froze Hall with two consecutive curves for strikes then tried to sneak in a fastball only to have Hall belt it off the wall in left-center. He's got good stuff, just needs to be more consistent. Jonny Dyer threw the final four innings and gave up only two runs. He didn't strike out anyone, but did a good job of throwing strikes and letting his fielder's do the work.
* Fall Practice concludes this week as the team continues to get ready for the 2002 season. I'll have a Fall Ball recap early next week.