Watching the strategy of opposing starting pitchers at the beginning of any baseball game is interesting. Will each nibble, attack the strike zone aggressively or do a little of each as they try to establish command.
The starters of a July 20 American Legion District 17 tournament game did a little of each in their opening innings, both striking out one.
Right-hander Henry Hultquist of Arlington Post 139 fanned the first batter he faced on three pinpoint, hard-thrown accurate pitches. He nibbled a bit after that, walking one and finishing the frame throwing 22 pitches.
Vienna Post 180 lefty Tanner Vislay had a 16-pitch first inning with one K. He moved the ball around the zone a bit more, mixed pitches and worked very, very fast.
Both had strong outings. Hultquist went four shutout frames of one-hit ball with four strikeouts and three walks to get the win. Vislay went five innings with nine Ks and three walks, allowing two hits and two earned runs, the result of a misplayed ball in the outfield.
The pitchers established themselves with solid first innings. Not overwhelming, but effective enough at both attacking and nibbling a bit.
– Dave Facinoli