Young pitches Trojans to a win
Central Alabama freshman throws 148 pitches
Paul Young is starting to like pitching.
The Central Alabama Community College freshman, who once preferred playing outfield and hitting, is becoming a top-notch pitcher and is getting a lot of attention from NCAA Division I programs.
“I like it; I like the pressure,” Young said. “The game’s kind of in your hands.”
Young pitched a complete game in front of 11,988 fans Monday night to lead the Trojans to an 11-4 victory over Midland (Texas) College in the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series at Suplizio Field.
“He’s gotten a little stronger every time out. He’s had to build his endurance,” Central Alabama coach Wynn Fletcher said. “We want to stay as long as we can. We think we’ve earned the right to be here and we want to play for this thing.”
Young (3-0), who threw 148 pitches, limited Midland to four runs on 11 hits, one walk and struck out 10.
“I’ve been sick and this altitude, I ain’t used to it,” Young said.
Young wasn’t accustomed to pitching until the Trojans ran out of arms in an 18-inning game back in February this season.
“We weren’t planning on pitching him,” Fletcher said. “We ran out of everybody and Paul really wanted to get the win. He went to the mound and he saved us. I think he understood from that day on that he had a real shot at this thing. From that point on he really put some time in it and worked and it’s paid off for Central Alabama, I’ll tell you that.”
He threw an inning of relief and picked up the save in the Trojans’ win in Saturday’s opener.
He had a fortuitous start, snagging a line drive over his shoulder and throwing out the runner at first base. He helped himself out at the plate with a two-run single in the fourth inning to give the Trojans a 7-1 lead.
“That gave everybody some energy, too,” Fletcher said. “He can do that for you. He can run, he can throw and he can hit.”
Blair Beck and Chris Shaw each had hits to reach in the fourth and scored on groundouts for Midland.
Midland relief pitcher Jared Robinson gives up a walk, two hits and hit one batter with the bases loaded and was pulled in the fifth. That didn’t stop the Trojans, who scored one on a Ben Hall sacrifice fly and another on Zach Rinehart’s single to right-center field for a 10-3 lead.
Midland (48-14) had a chance to get back in it in the bottom of the fifth with one run already in and two on with one out, but Beck struck out and Central Alabama catcher Blaine Miller threw out Joel Atkinson at third.
“We had the base running error there in the fourth in the middle of the order and two runners on, made a little base running mistake,” Midland coach David Coleman said. “We’ve been aggressive all year and we’re just trying to make a play.
“It’s nobody’s fault; they executed and handled it and caught us. From there on I thought their pitcher really settled in and we never really threatened.”
Hall hit a home run deep into the right field parking lot in the seventh for an 11-4 lead.