James Tallon’s debut pitching appearance of the 2022 high-school baseball season couldn’t have been more pressure-packed for the tall hard-throwing left-hander.
The Yorktown Patriots senior entered the April 22 road baseball game against the Marshall Statesmen with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning and his team leading 5-3 in an eventual 7-3 victory. The Duke University-commit, touted as one of the metro area’s top-talented prep pitchers, who could be selected in the Major League draft in July, met the challenge. He got the only batter he faced in that frame to fly out to left field on two pitches, ending the threat.
Tallon also worked the seventh, striking out two of the four batters he faced, with one reaching on an error, to earn the save for starter Ketz Murray, who will play at the University of Mary Washington.
Tallon missed Yorktown’s first 12 games with arm-soreness issues. He was on a limited pitch count of 20 to 25 pitches in his debut. He threw 16, of which 12 were strikes, and faced five batters.
“I thought James was confident and threw well,” Yorktown coach John Skaggs said. “It was nice to have him back.”
Skaggs said Tallon likely will get his first start on the mound in coming games.
Tallon started in the field at first base against Marshall, making a couple of good defensive plays and helped turn a double play. With the bat, he dropped a suicide-squeeze bunt in the seventh inning.
“James is so athletic, he can do a lot of things,” Skaggs said. “Ketz started tonight and he told us he didn’t have his best stuff. But he did exactly what we needed him to do.”
Murray went five innings. The senior righty scattered seven hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Yorktown’s hitting was led by J.J. Foti’s 4 for 4 (double) and one-RBI performance, and two hits each from Ryan Powers (two RBI) and Jack Rucker (one RBI). Bradley Labant and Kyle Langley also had hits.
The Patriots only struck out four times, which pleased Skaggs.
“We had been striking out way too much,” Skaggs said. “We were short to the ball tonight, and we worked soooo hard on that in practice and cutting down on the strikeouts.”