You hate to lose any game you’re leading 4-0 after the top of the first inning, but you also hate to give up two runs due to errors and a balk in the bottom of the first inning, too. Ross Stripling was Ross Stripling, he had a rough first inning, giving up two earned runs, but settled in to shut down Carolina for the most of the night, pitching 7 straight innings of shutout baseball before being taken out after the 8th inning. Rob Childress pretty much did everything he could do to help us win tonight; he pulled Martin after he gave up that lead-off double in the ninth inning, going straight to Fleece. It isn’t Childress’ fault we made errors in the first inning. The only slight quibble I’ve heard is some people suggesting we should have walked Bradley to set up the double play and pitch to Marzilli, but that is a small quibble.
I was not impressed with South Carolina pitcher Michael Roth; looking at his numbers, I thought we would be facing another Sean Gilmartin or a Taylor Jungmann. Instead, we were facing another Justin Simmons, another soft-tosser who was bringing it when he hit 85 on the gun. Roth pitched at the corners of the strike zone, and had an ump tonight that would call some balls on the outside strikes. It is difficult to hit someone who is getting those calls, because you are basically forced to swing at pitches you have little chance of reaching. Regardless, we failed to score after the first inning, and that was really the story of the game.
Our next appearance is against California on Tuesday at 1 PM in the elimination game. If we can get our offense going, I like our chances.