Chal Fanning (MU pitching coach, 97-02) had a sense his team would be good. He just knew he’d have to wait for it to be this good.■ Bombs Away (KOMU.com) highlights a current Tiger and a Tiger recruit [with VIDEO]:
Summer collegiate baseball teams can be tempted to comprise their rosters more heavily of players from schools that didn’t make NCAA playoff runs, so that they can play at the highest level as soon as the summer starts, quickly forming an identity while filling seats. But for Fanning, the manager of the San Luis Obispo Blues, patience is paying off.
Of the 37 players listed on the Blues’ roster, 19 hail from programs coming off of NCAA Tournament appearances.
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Kelly Fick, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound left-hander entering his junior season at Missouri, started Sunday for San Luis Obispo, scattering six hits in six innings of work.
“Early on, I wasn’t at my best,” Fick said, “but I finally found it in those last three innings (I was in).”
Fick (5-0) gave up his first earned run of the season in the third inning after Anthony Williams hit an RBI double that pulled the Mavericks within 2-1. Fick finished with four strikeouts and didn’t walk any batters in a brisk affair that took only two hours and three minutes.
“A couple pitches got away from him,” Fanning said, “but he buckled down and threw well. He probably could’ve thrown a complete game.”
And some of the talent is going to stay in Mid-Missouri in the fall. Pitcher Zach Hardoin signed to play at Mizzou.
"I'm going to have to pitch to live up to the expectations of people at Mizzou, and help the team stay on the winning track and continue to be good," said Hardoin.
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"Zach will be a good Big 12 starter. He's got three solid pitches: fast, curve, and change. He's got a phenomenal curveball. It's one of the best curveballs in the league," Kindle said.
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"Ryan Allen's probably one of, if not the best pitcher on our staff. He's got a .30 ERA and he's done everything we've asked him to do. He's come out and given us solid innings. He's found his stuff again," said Kindle.
Allen credits a new outlook on his success.
"One thing I'm trying to do is come out and have fun at the ballpark. Find any ways I can to make it fun. Whether it's batting practice, sprint around after fly balls like you're an outfielder," said Allen.
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Both Hardoin and Allen carry an ERA less than one.