Wicklander.

A pretty big spot for a freshmen. Bases loaded and 2 outs. He sure didn’t have it tonight. He gave up 2 walks and hit a batter. He needs to get back on the mound this weekend and gain some confidence.

He also had a wild pitch. There was some thought that he might start at USC, but there was also some thought that he might be too psyched up pitching back in his home state. It looked like that is what happened.

I sure thought the check swing that ended Scroggins outing was a swing. That would have been the 3rd out! But your right he was probably to pumped up!

I thought so, too.

Good to go ahead and get some of that out of the way and still win. His stuff plays and he was just a little off and a little sped up and feeling for it. If Kopps can get healthy and return to form they could have a pretty deep pen.

I think the bullpen could be the best since that 2013 team that had the lowest ERA in college baseball. Cronin looked incredible tonight.

Here is what Van Horn said about Wicklander’s outing, which confirms my initial thoughts: “He came in today and he looked like he was having trouble gripping the ball, nervous, back in California - I’ve seen it a hundred times.”

I bet Van Horn has seen it 100 times. Wicklander was over throwing the fast ball and then just missing with the breaker. He’s had very good control. That was nerves.

[quote=“ClayHenry”]

… Wicklander was over throwing the fast ball and then just missing with the breaker.

[/quote]Walks kill. Just look at Ramage’s numbers. No walks,two hits, yet no earned runs. No great reason to be too fine on your pitches if the other team’s only getting 4 hits in the game.

Can you say, “freshman jitters”. He will bounce back.

It probably didn’t help that he came in to a bases loaded situation. That is a very tough spot, and one I hope he bounces back from quickly. Hopefully he will get a chance to mow through Memphis’s lineup next week and build a little confidence back.

His ball movement is electric and it wouldn’t take much to over-pitch in that situation… DVH will know how to move him forward.

I’m not an umpire by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think its worth mentioning that Wicklander threw a few balls around the edge of the zone that could have very easily been called strikes had he earned that part of the zone before that point. Scroggins probably would have gotten them called strikes in the second and third, Ramage in the 5th, and Cronin in the 9th. When you come in and immediately struggle to find the strike zone, the ump will sometimes make you earn a call on the edge by pitching some firmly in the zone first. He never was able to “earn” that borderline pitch, and a big part of that was you can’t very well float one over the plate with the bases loaded. But some of his pitches were just wild and way off, which further hurt his case of earning the corners.

To Wicklander’s credit, leaving a ball in the middle of the plate could have also been a disaster in that situation with the bases loaded.

I thought there were three borderline pitches that he did not get the call. Not saying they were not balls, but the other pitchers (as you noted) got those calls after a series of good pitches. He just was one pitch away from getting out of it and getting a shot at settling down with the bases empty in the next inning. Van Horn got him at the right time, though.

I’m trying to improve from my ref/umpire cynicism syndrome so I didn’t want to bring up those 3 pitches. Thanks for confirming my doubts.

It’s a game of inches.

He has a ton of talent, he was probably trying a little bit too hard.I just hope he can put this behind him and not let it bother him and not let it become a mental block to him. We really need him.

He is a true freshman, playing at home for the first time. I’ll give him a pass. I suspect that he will be just fine.