But despite pitching in front of a full house for the Baby Bombers' home opener against the arch-rival Brooklyn Cyclones with friends and family on hand, Betances was dominant in three of his four innings, with a three-run second frame being the exception.
"I think he gets high marks for that, I really do," Manager Mike Gillespie said. "This is a guy that's 19 years old, and it's really his first game in his home town virtually, lots and lots of family members here, a full house, he's playing against Brooklyn for crying out loud, and he's 19 years old."
Gillespie also noted that the 19 year-old right-hander was able to avoid the distraction of the pre-game festivities, which delayed the start of the game by 10 minutes.
Betances said the friends and family on hand helped him boost his adrenaline to start the game, despite getting nervous at the start of the game.
"I felt good," Dellin Betances said. "I thought I had a good start, and just the second inning got off badly when I started to get behind [in the count] and they started hitting the ball, but I felt good coming out for the first time."
Into the second inning, the 6'8" righty had struck out three consecutive Cyclones, when with one out, two singles, a walk and a force play loaded the bases with two outs for Brooklyn. The right-hander then threw a 3-2 knuckle curve to rightfielder Ender Chavez but missed outside, forcing home a run, and leftfielder Will Vogl followed with a single to center to plate two more runs.
Betances got through the next two innings without allowing a baserunner, but he was removed after four innings due to strict pitch counts from the organization, replaced by right-hander Craig Heyer.
"In this organization we designate what are called two starters every night, where the starting pitcher can go five innings or up to 70 pitches," Gillespie said. "The next time, Heyer will start, and Betances will go second, and it will rotate like that."
Although the young pitcher was brilliant in the Gulf Coast League last year, Betances has averaged fewer than three and a half innings per start, and he says he is ready and eager to be extended when the organization gives him the opportunity.
For his next outing, Betances said he would like to work on getting ahead of the hitters a bit more, as he noticed A-ball hitters were more selective than those in the Gulf Coast League.
"The hitters are more patient [at this level] since most of them are college hitters and much more experienced," he said.
Betances Waiting To Get Extended
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