Casey Fletcher goes yard to win it for the Orange Team…
…giving them something to finally cheer about this week
I have to hand it to the Orange Team. They were outplayed for two and half games this week but they really know how to cap off the Orange and Blue World series. And they have incoming transfer Casey Fletcher to thank in part for that.
After losing the first two games, they were down 5-0 early in the third game behind some superb pitching by Blue Team’s Rob McDonnell. The Orange Team rallied though and with the score 5-5 in the bottom of the last inning, Fletcher hit a bomb to right-center to win it for the Orange Team. Nice way to end the Fall practice season, guys!
Robbie McDonnell on his game today
I don’t want to understate how well Robby McDonnell pitched. He did get into a little trouble in fourth when he let up for one run but other than that he was lights out. This is good news for the Illini since Mickey D was out for last year with arm trouble and it will be nice to get him back in the rotation.
Krug gets a hit in his first plate appearance since April
Speaking of getting critical players back on the field, Tuesday’s game contained an event that both teams could cheer about. Blue Team’s Will Krug who hadn’t taken a swing in a competitive game since last April when he got injured was in uniform and was called on to pinch hit. Krug responded by roping a base hit to right field. Put it in the books, he’s now batting 1.000. After being moved to second, he was lifted for a pinch runner. It was the smart move but I could tell Will wanted to stay in. That’s just the kind of player he is. Krug had a fantastic summer in 2012 and that continued on in Illinois’ 2013 season until he got hurt. He’s a hustler who can hit, run and do what it takes to win. It will be good to get him back in the lineup.
I’ve added Zack Kolakowski to my spell check dictionary. I’ll be typing it a lot.
It will be hard to replace Thomas Lindauer at short but so far, I’ve been impressed with Zack Kolakowski. He’s speedy, handles the defensive aspect of the position well and for someone of his stature, he hits the ball fairly well.
As with short, third base is another position that will need a new body. Brandon Hohl had that role for several years. Richie Gorski made a couple good plays this week and played a role offensively. He’ll have competition from freshman Matt James.
Reid Roper can add catcher to his resume now
With Kelly Norris-Jones on rehab and Jason Goldstein nursing a slight injury from yesterday, we saw two interesting choices at catcher today. Orange Team showed us that Reid Roper can do just about anything. Not only can he play second base and close out games from the mound but he does ok behind the plate, too. The Blue Team had Grey Schultz at catcher. Not only is Grey a walk-on but he’s from Champaign, a graduate from Centennial High School.
Photos from Tuesday’s game here
Photos from Wednesday’s game here
The last game of the Orange and Blue World Series signifies the end of Illinois Baseball practice for 2013. Aside from physical conditioning, the team won’t be practicing again till early 2014. Study hard gentleman!
Tags: Casey Fletcher
, grey schultz
, orange and blue series
, reid roper
, Richie Gorski
, Robby McDonnell
, will krug
, Zack Kolakowski
Filed under: Off Season Happenings on October 2nd, 2013 | Leave a Comment! »