FARMINGTON – The Midland Redskins called on five hurlers for short stints on the mound Sunday, hoping it’ll go a long way.
They’re making sure the pitching staff is fresh and ready to rock in this week’s Connie Mack World Series championship bracket. They didn’t want to drain any arms too soon, but they also don’t want any rusty arms.
“It’s been good for all of us to throw (Sunday),” pitcher Jeff Criswell said. “We wanted to get everybody on the mound, just get some work before we head into bracket play. I think our pitching staff is going to be ready to go. Anything that we needed to tune up, we got done.”
Criswell, Seth Lonsway, Ian Bedell, Peyton Deats and Liam Eddy each threw roughly one inning, give or take. Each of them made good use of their short time throwing by hitting different corners of the strike zone and forcing multiple ground outs and fly outs.
Deats said that with traveling to Farmington and having to wait a few days before throwing again, it was all the more important to get arms fresh and ready for the tournament. And he was encouraged by his team’s ability to pound the strike zone on Sunday.
“When you can get ahead and then start throwing off-speed and stuff, it really keeps hitters off-balance. You just have them guessing in the box, and it helps a tremendous amount when you’re pitching,” said Deats.
Criswell said the pitching unit is doing well attacking the strike zone and opposing hitters.
Eddy said the staff, which also features Piedra Vista's Chase Silseth, is doing a good job of getting ahead in the pitch count. Eddy also said that approach is helping them out because they’re putting extra pressure on hitters.
“The (batting) average goes down a bunch when you get on top right away,” Eddy said.
Now the goal is to pretty much replicate what was done in pool play, but for an extended period.
“We need complete games out of everybody that starts. We need to get going deep now. That’s going to be important,” said Eddy.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.