Despite loss, Hamrick tosses quality start for Scrappers
NILES – After being drafted out of high school in 2012 and playing last season for the rookie-ball Arizona League Indians, Caleb Hamrick made the first single-A start of his career Tuesday night.
Hamrick showed no signs of nervousness as he retired the first 12 batters in order. Through those first four innings, Hamrick struck out four and threw only 10 balls, limiting his pitches by throwing strikes early in at-bats and keeping the ball down.
“I had pretty good control of my fastball,” Hamrick said. “I didn’t have really good control of my slider or my splitter tonight. I just kept the ball down low.”
The difference in the game came in the fifth inning. Jin-De Jhang led off the inning with a home run to right field, breaking up the perfect game.
“I was just trying to keep focused and one just got away,” Hamrick described.
Hamrick then committed a throwing error on a one-out sacrifice bunt attempt with runners on first and second, allowing an unearned run to cross the plate.
“I tried not to get frustrated,” he said. “I tried to just keep myself calm and get through the inning.”
Hamrick was able to do just that as he forced the next two batters to ground out to third baseman Claudio Bautista, keeping the score at 2-0. His day was finished after that fifth inning.
This being Hamrick’s first game out of rookie ball means this was the first time he has played in front of a sizable crowd. His excitement was noticeable, and he plans to take that same level of excitement and focus into every game he pitches.
“Every start I’m going to be pitching, I’m gonna be pumped up,” he said. “If you’re not excited for a game, something’s going wrong.”
Tommy’s Boy: Nick Hamilton, son of Cleveland Indians radio announcer Tom Hamilton, will make his first career start with the Scrappers tonight. Nick played his college ball at Kent State University helping the Golden Flashes advance to their first and only College World Series appearance. Nick spent last season playing in the Arizona League where he played 17 games and batted .240.
Lumber Company: Because aluminum bats are still used in college, this is first season exclusively using wooden bats for some of the players on the Scrappers. One of these players is Paul Hendrix who played last season at Texas Christian University. Hendrix does not anticipate any difficulties in the transition.
“I’ve always felt I hit better with wood,” he said. “But there’s always a little adjustment point.”
Hendrix hit .275 for TCU last season which was third best on the team.
Twice is Nice: With a single in the first and sixth inning, Juan Herrera had the Scrappers first multi-hit game of the season Tuesday night.