Farmington Junior Strong In Return
FARMINGTON JUNIOR STRIKES OUT 8 IN 3 INNINGS VS. LINCOLN
LINCOLN — Farmington’s Tyler Gregg and Ben Silvis combined for a no-hitter to lift the Cardinals to an 11-2 victory against Lincoln on Thursday.
Gregg, a junior, struck out the side in the first two innings before running into control problems in the third. He threw eight consecutive balls at one point and walked three in the inning as Lincoln (0-1) was able to even the score at 2-2 on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error. But Gregg finished out the inning with two more strikeouts to finish with eight total out of nine possible outs.
It was Gregg’s first pitching appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery in November, 2014. The previous spring, he was named the All-NWA Media Newcomer of the Year for Class 5A and below.
“We’re working him back into a groove and we’re doing it slowly,” said Farmington coach Jay Harper. “He wasn’t as sharp as what he wants to be and he knows that. I know that. But he got some good work in. Threw a lot of good pitches.”
Gregg appeared to have his velocity back while consistently throwing 86-87 mph fastballs for Farmington ( 2- 0). He mixed in a breaking ball to keep Wolves’ batters off balance in their first time facing live pitching this season.
“We can’t simulate that (in practice),” said Lincoln coach Justin Bounds. “We can move the ‘ L’ screen up and throw as fast as we can, but you can’t simulate a pitcher who throws that hard and has a curveball like that.”
At the plate, Gregg had three
doubles and three RBIs. Cardinals junior Ryan Larkin, who was 2- for- 3, pushed the go- ahead run across in the fourth inning. Silvis, Blake Madewell, Blake Putnam, Caleb Reagan and Drew Vinson each had two hits to pace a 15-hit Farmington attack.
“Our theme is to win the inning. We won five, we lost one and we tied one,” said Harper, who’s team opened the season with a 10-1 win against Gravette on Feb. 29.
“And when you do that, you’re going to win games. We started slow, and we need to correct strikeouts, we had five strikeouts and we left nine runners on, so we do have some things to work on and correct.”
Silvis (1-0), who had two RBIs, retired all 12 batters he faced and finished with five strikeouts to complete the no-hitter.
Bounds said his team was “just excited to stop practicing and start playing” and to “get the Game 1 jitters out of the way.”
Despite being no- hit against Farmington and losing 11-1 in five innings the following day at Springdale, the second-year head coach believes this team has potential.
“This year compared to last year, I’ve got twice as many guys and guys who didn’t play last year who are playing again,” Bounds said. “So it’s kinda like Year 1 all over again for some of them. Others who played last year, they’re ahead.
“But I was proud of the way we competed to tie it up against some very good pitching.”
Farmington junior Tyler Gregg was strong in his first pitching appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his elbow in November 2014.
Lincoln sophomore Christian Crittenden tries to execute a squeeze play in an attempt to score Jacob Anderson from third base, but the bunt rolled foul down the third base line.