Not only had Daley posted a 10.38 ERA and an opposing batting average of .436 in his first three professional outings, but fellow top draftees and State College Spikes starting pitchers Adam Ottavino (0.00 ERA in three starts) Brad Furnish (2.00 ERA in four starts) have been pitching lights-out.
Apparently all Daley needed to join the ranks of the impressive was a trip to Coney Island. Pitching Saturday night at the Brooklyn Cyclones' home stadium, Keyspan Park, Daley one-hit the home team for six innings en route to a 4-1 Spikes victory. The win evens the Spikes' inaugural season record at 9-9.
In front of a crowd of 8,390 and with thousands more in the background, either on the beach or the boardwalk, the 20-year-old right-hander was superb. Though an unearned run scored in the third, Daley carried a no-hitter into the fifth.
While I never saw his fastball reach above 88 miles per hour, The 6-3, 200 pound Daley kept the opposing hitters off-stride with off-speed stuff that registered as much as 20 MPH less on the gun.
Offensively, the Tulane duo, left fielder Nathan Southard and first baseman Mark Hamilton, led the way. Southard, so far looking like a steal in the 17th round, had three hits, including a contested double that may have been a home run, scored twice, and to top it off, stole home.
Hamilton, the team's leading hitter both for average and power, didn't disappoint. The supplemental second rounder had two hits, a steal and an RBI. Outfielder Yonathan Sivira shook off his .189 average with two hits and two RBI.
Just as a reminder that these players are still a bit rough around the edges, here is how the Cyclones plated their unearned run in the third inning.
Eighth-round pick and third baseman Allen Craig double-pumped on a throw just like Scott Rolen. Any similarities between the two ended there, as Craig air-mailed his throw well over the head of the 6-4 Hamilton at first. The next hitter bunted toward Hamilton, who fielded the ball well, wheeled and tossed the ball under-handed to first. Unfortunately, neither Daley nor his second baseman had made it to the bag in time. Two batters, two errors.
After a strikeout, the run scored on a fielders' choice at second base. But, in all fairness, the inning ended on a fine play by the man who started it, Craig. He sprinted in toward the plate on a slow roller and fired a strike to first, ending up just a couple of steps in front of home plate.
One run scored on no hits and no walks. How often do you see that?
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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