1/13 Baseball Practice Notes

Preseason practice continued at Sunken Diamond on Saturday afternoon with another intrasquad game. A new set of pitchers saw time on the mound with a freshman stealing the show. Meanwhile at the plate, the duo of Michael Taylor and Jason Castro are emerging as the star players in the middle of the batting order.

Saturday's intrasquad, the second practice game of the preseason, featured three hitting teams of six players each.  The Red Team, led by sluggers Michael Taylor and Jason Castro, scored seven runs in a single inning to propel their club to a victory over the White Team (four runs) and Blue Team (two runs).  The Red squad needed only those seven runs to post the win as Taylor, Castro, and freshman Toby Gerhart produced multi-hit contests to lead the way.

Facing the #3 pitching group and specifically junior Rex Petrill, Taylor and Castro started the decisive rally with a pair of singles.  Gerhart followed with a single into left field plating Taylor for a run.  Cord Phelps was up next and the middle infielder grounded a single into left scoring Castro with the inning's second run.  Later in the frame, Stephen Brown scored two runs with a single before a Taylor sacrifice fly for run #5.  Castro, now facing freshman Kyle Thompson, was hit by a pitch to score a run before Gerhart capped with rally with a sharp RBI single into center. 

The seven-run frame held up for the Red Team as the White squad scored two runs each in their fourth and fifth at-bats.  Ryan Seawell led the White Team effort with a pair of hits.  Meanwhile, the Blue Team scored just two runs with Brent Milleville and Grant Escue bringing home scores on ground outs.

On the mound, frosh Cory Bannister was the star of the contest firing 3 2/3 no-hit innings with just one walk and five strikeouts. 


Red Team   0 0 7  0 0 0   -   7 runs, 10 hits

                  POS   AB   R   H  RBI    BB  SO
Adam Sorgi         DH    4   0   1   0      0   0
Michael Taylor     CF    3   2   2   1      1   1
Jason Castro        C    4   1   3   1      1   1
Toby Gerhart       LF    4   1   2   2      2   1
Cord Phelps       2B/SS  4   1   1   1      1   2
Stephen Brown     3B/1B  4   2   1   2      1   2

3B: Castro
CS: Sorgi, Taylor

White Team  0 0 0  2 2 0   -   4 runs, 6 hits

                  POS   AB   R   H  RBI    BB  SO
Ryan Seawell       CF    3   1   2   0      0   0
 Stephen Swinford  RF    2   0   0   1      0   1
Joey August       LF/CF  4   0   1   1      0   0
Brian Juhl          C    4   0   0   0      1   0
Randy Molina      3B/1B  4   1   1   0      1   1
Adam Gaylord      SS/2B  4   0   1   0      0   1
Sean Ratliff      CF/LF  4   2   1   0      2   2

2B: Molina, Gaylord

Blue Team   0 2 0  0 0 0   -   2 runs, 5 hits

                  POS   AB   R   H  RBI    BB  SO
J.J. Jelmini      SS/2B  4   1   1   0      0   2
Brendan Domaracki  RF    4   1   1   0      1   1
Brent Milleville   1B    4   0   1   1      2   1
Grant Escue        1B    4   0   2   1      0   0
Jeff Whitlow       RF    3   0   0   0      0   1
Wande Olabisi      RF    2   0   0   0      0   1
 Brian Moon        DH    1   0   0   0      0   1


                    IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
Rex Petrill        3.0   9   5   5   2   2
Blake Hancock      3.1   4   3   3   2   4

Kyle Thompson      2.2   1   1   1   4   3
Tom Stilson        3.0   3   2   1   3   2

Andrew Clauson     2.1   4   2   2   1   3
Cory Bannister     3.2   0   0   0   1   5


* Unlike yesterday, the hitters started each count at 1-1.  This may have led to slightly higher walk and strikeout totals than normal.  Meanwhile, the second pitching group (led by returnees David Stringer and Max Fearnow, among others) will throw during Sunday's intrasquad game.

* Some bad news on the injury front.  Senior Ryan Seawell got the call in center field today and played very well showing no signs of his previous leg injuries.  Seawell threw out a runner at the plate while also recording two hits in his three at-bats.  However, on the second hit, Seawell pulled up as he rounded first base with an apparent injury to his leg.  Seawell hobbled off on his own power and remained in the dugout for the rest of the game.  A discouraging turn of events after he looked good at the plate and in the field prior to that hit.

* Adam Sorgi did not see any action in the field during today's game.  At the plate, the redshirt junior picked up one single while also lining out sharply to shortstop.

* Bannister continues to impress on the mound.  The freshman had a solid Fall Ball and is putting himself into position to garner some game action out of the bullpen this year.  On Saturday, Bannister was in complete control setting down the first nine batters he faced while he finished the game with a strikeout of Milleville.  Bannister is not a big guy standing just 5'11" and weighing 170 lbs.  He doesn't have an overpowering fastball, but clearly knows how to pitch as he mixes speeds well.  Bannister's father, Floyd, pitched in the major leagues while his brother, Brian, made his debut with the New York Mets last season.  Bannister also went to the same high school in Arizona as Austin Yount.

* Tom Stilson is expected to make his collegiate debut in 2007 after an injury-riddled freshman campaign.  The 6'4" southpaw worked three innings this afternoon yielding just one earned run and three hits.  Stilson has tremendous pure stuff - some of the best on the staff.  Possible issues for the promising lefty early on could be lack of game experience (Stilson missed most of his senior year of high school with mono) and iffy control.  Nevertheless, Stilson is an intriguing young prospect to watch and could certainly make an impact at some point this year.  Stilson received national Top 100 mention prior to his senior year of high school.

* Big games from both Taylor and Castro today to lead their club.  Taylor has racked up four hits in the first two games of the preseason.  Castro, meanwhile, smoked a triple to deep center field this afternoon followed by a pair of hard hit singles.  Look for this duo to make up a potent 3-4 combination in the batting order this season.

* Gerhart continues to impress at the plate despite missing the entire fall season on the baseball diamond.  Gerhart rapped out two hits in his four at-bats Saturday giving him three hits in the first two games. 

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