In the true tradition of saving the best for last, the two dominant pitching performances on the first day of the WWBA fall championship came in the final block of four games.
On one field, three Texas Scout Team Yankees pitchers combined on a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts as the Yankees defeated South Florida PG Navy 4-0, while on an adjacent field Ontario Blue Jays lefthander Evan Grills (Whitby, Ontario) did a solo in throwing a three-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts in an 8-0 Jays win over Orlando PG Purple.
Righthander Garrett Gould (Wichita, Kan.), the top Kansas prospect in the 2009 draft class, worked the first three innings for the Yankees, retiring all nine hitters he faced, seven on strikeouts. Though his fastball was only 87-90 mph, he mixed it well with a power curve in the 77-82 mph range and a 75-78 mph changeup.
Gould gave way to righthander Kurt Heyer (Huntington Beach, Calif.), who worked the next three innings for the Yankees. He faced the minimum nine hitters, striking out six, and the only base runner he allowed, on a walk, was erased on a caught stealing. Heyer, an Arizona recruit ranked No. 62 among California high school prospects for the ’09 draft, threw four pitches for strikes, including a fastball that topped at 91 mph.
Lefthander Miguel Pena, a 2010 pitcher from Mission, Texas, with an 87-88 mph fastball, finished up the game by striking out the side.
Grills, Canada’s top prospect for the 2010 draft, was in control throughout for the Blue Jays, walking none and retiring 15 of the last 16 batters he faced. Though he threw a fastball that topped only at 88 mph and a curve, the extremely projectable 6-foot-5, 190-pound lefthander had excellent command of both pitches.
Not to be outdone, Orlando Scorpions junior righthander A.J. Cole (Winter Springs, Fla.), the top-ranked prospect in the 2010 draft class, was clocked at 94 mph—the highest recorded velocity on the day—though his team, the Orlando Scorpions, lost 4-1 to the St. Louis Pirates.
The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Cole was not involved in the decision, but he allowed two hits and an unearned run while striking out seven.
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