Luke Appleman of Lehigh Valley Baseball Academy looks ready to rip in Blue Chip.
By Luis Torres
Scott Snyder was getting a little antsy watching his starting pitcher, Andrew Sagrestano, work through the bottom of the first inning.
It was an inauspicious start for Sagrestano and Lehigh Valley Baseball Academy Prospects National. Sagrestano, a right-handed pitcher, walked the first two guys he faced and allowed two quick runs, including giving up an RBI triple, so Snyder had some reason to be on edge.
However, things started to change for Sagrestano after he battled his way through the first frame, and Snyder began to relax as Sagrestano went to work.
And did he ever end up putting together a fine performance. Sagrestano tossed a complete-game one-hitter as LVBA Prospects defeated Complete Game Baseball Academy White 4-2 in 17/18U Blue Chip Prospects play at Diamond Nation in Flemington on Thursday evening.
“At around the 11 or 12 pitch mark, I started to wonder whether he had it,” Snyder said. “It was hot. I think it took him a little while to get going. He’s a bulldog. He’s one of those guys. I knew he had 115 pitches in him, so we try to extend it as long as we could. That’s how we do it. If they’re rolling, we’re rolling. If we get all three parts of our game going, offense, defense and pitching, then we’re pretty good.”
It didn’t take long for LVBA Prospects National to pick up Sagrestano after he allowed the two runs in the bottom half of the first.
LVBA Prospects National scored three runs in the top of the second inning, smacking around four hits to all parts of the field. Luke Piripavel cut the deficit to one with an RBI single to left field. That set up Luke Appleman, who hit a go-ahead two-run single before he was thrown out at second base trying to extend his hit into an extra base.
It was the Sagrestano show from there, as he worked around a couple of walks and an error to continue to put up scoreless innings.
“I just had to adjust. I was overextending,” Sagrestano said. “The team had my back. I didn’t really get too many strikeouts, but my defense had my back. I threw strikes and got done what I needed to do.”
One of the adjustments he made was finding a feel for his offspeed pitches, as well as cleaning up his mechanics. Once he did, he worked fast, most of the time getting out of innings by throwing only a handful of pitches.
“Once he started to get his offspeed pitches under control and he didn’t have to rely on his fastball, then he started getting better,” Snyder added. “He was good today. Like I said, he’s a bulldog and competitor. Every time he gets out there, he’s one of those guys that will compete for us every single time.”
LVBA Prospects National missed out going unbeaten in 17/18U Blue Chip Prospects play after losing to Diamond Jacks Super 16U earlier on Thursday. But to turn around and have Sagrestano throw a gem was a good way to end it.
“To finish on this note was pretty good,” Snyder said.