Righthander Nick Scillia was terrific in pitching a shutout for CT Grind Carolina.
By Luis Torres
A smile flashed across the face of Nick Scillia with two outs in the top of the seventh inning.
Scillia was looking to finish off a gem of a performance on the mound, CT Grind Carolina’s right-handed pitcher needing one more out. But then he fell behind in the count 3-0, and that’s when he began to laugh.
In the dugout, coach Michael Moras told him to not give up on the batter just because he was behind in the count.
So with a smile on his face, Scillia went back to work. He threw three more pitches to the hitter, recording a strikeout to end the game.
Behind Scillia’s complete-game shutout, CT Grind Carolina defeated Baseball U PA-Pocono, 7-0, in 15U Boys of Summer play Saturday at Diamond Nation in Flemington.
“I was down 3-0, and my coach from the dugout was like, ‘Don’t do it,’ because we always talk about not ever having a walk with two outs,” Scillia said. “So, I was definitely laughing, and then I go back, 1-2-3 and strike him out. That was definitely funny.”
Using three pitches — his fastball, slider and change-up — Scillia was able to spin a gem, scattering five hits, walking none and striking out eight batters. He didn’t allow a runner past second base and got stronger as the game moved to the middle innings. He didn’t throw more than 15 pitches during an inning in his tidy outing.
He said he gets in a rhythm as he gets deeper into an outing and he throws harder. His fastball topped at around 79 miles-per-hour, according to the radar gun at Diamond Nation.
Coincidentally, he had one three-ball count, which ended up being the final hitter of the game.
“One of our big things with our pitchers is no two-out walks, but he was great,” Moras said. “He did a great job, threw all of his pitches for strikes, and attacked the strike zone most importantly.”
CT Grind Carolina opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning when first baseman Kyle Parker scored on a wild pitch after hitting a triple to right field. Parker went 3-for-3 with three extra-base hits — two doubles and his triple — and two RBIs. Extra hitter Mason Tobias went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
That was more than enough run support for Scillia, whose breaking ball befuddled Baseball U PA-Pocono’s hitters. Scillia wasn’t afraid to throw his slider in any count, relying on it to get ahead of hitters during even counts or putting away hitters when he was ahead.
“The slider in all counts was working,” Scillia said. “That was definitely my best pitch today, so I used that to help me out, and I punched out a lot of kids with it. It was working.”
There were more smiles following the final out for Scillia and CT Grind Carolina.
It was a gem of a performance by the righty, who had almost everything working for him on Saturday.
“His last few outings have been really good, and he’s been getting stronger as the summer has gone on,” Moras said. “He’s conditioned for it, and he was ready to pitch.”