I was in attendance this evening as the State College Spikes fell to the Auburn Doubledays by a score of 1-0. The Spikes bats went silent as the team only managed two hits in the game. Here are a few of my observations from the park.
Zac Fuesser made the start and pitched well. His fastball sat around 86-88 MPH on the stadium gun, touching 91 once. The logic behind the Pirates' fastball-heavy philosophy at the lower levels was evident tonight. Fuesser threw some decent secondary stuff, with occasional struggles commanding it, and the Auburn hitters could do little against his curveball/change repertoire. It was easy to see how a young pitcher could fall into a pattern of repeatedly flicking off-speed stuff up there and watching inexperienced hitters flail. Fuesser's most impressive display tonight came with the glove. On two or three occasions, he darted off the mound to retire hitters on slow rollers. He looked very athletic out there.
Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.