Catch Silence the Thunder

The So Cal Catch continued to score at a torrid pace and added lights out pitching from four different arms to cruise past the So Cal Thunder 9-0.

The entire Catch lineup worked deep into the count and made the Thunder pitching staff work hard, allowing hitters three through five in the lineup plenty of opportunities and have nice days in the box score.

“[Jordan] Crowell (Point Park U.), [Stefan] Panayiotou (Chicago State U.), and [Perry] Rigby (Covenant College) reaped the benefits of the others guys in the lineup working hard and putting quality at-bats together. The best part of this win was capitalizing with guys on base and seeing effort in the lineup, one through nine,” said Head Coach Justin Duarte.

The middle part of the Catch order went a combined 6-for-11 with 6 runs scored, 3 RBI’s, and 3 walks. By reaching base three of out five plate appearances, Stefan Panayiotou improved his OBP to .529 and is now slugging .714. He leads the team in these two categories.

However, it was the Catch pitchers that made this game both sweet and short. The Thunder were retired 1-2-3 in six of the Catch’s nine defensive innings. Josh DeGraaf (Taylor U.) improved his record to 1-1 after starting the game by getting the first nine batters out in order. DeGraaf also recorded a swinging strikeout in each of his three inning of work.

New addition to the active roster Juan Berumen (Okla. Wesleyan U.) was also effective in his Catch debut, striking out three in his two innings of shutout pitching. The last strikeout came at a pivotal point in the game, as it ended the Thunder’s best chance to score when it had runners on at first and second with two out in the fourth.

Lefty Jason Kim (Biola U.) pitched innings six and seven, picking off two of the three runners he allowed to reach base. Kim’s great move to first prevented the Thunder from developing any momentum in the late innings. The visiting team only had two runners reach second base all game.

“We’re seeing early signs of a great pitching staff. At this point in the summer, we’re not altering mechanics. We just tell guys to go out there and pitch. Our pitchers are doing a good job of managing counts and attacking hitters. It caused a lot of groundball outs today,” said Duarte.

AJ Jefferson (Missouri State U.) and Cameron Bishop (UC Irvine) both saw time in the field and on the bump in the victory. Jefferson worked the eighth inning and Bishop the ninth. Cameron Bishop also had the distinction of being selected in the 32nd round of the MLB first year player draft during the game. Selection number 960 was announced by public address announcer Mark Clinton to the fans at the game just before Bishop’s second at-bat. He is the first Catch player to be selected in the draft in the team's two year history.

The So Cal Catch is a ministry of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Baseball. The Catch seeks to create an opportunity for collegiate baseball players to further develop their baseball skills in a highly competitive summer collegiate league and to train them to be lights for the Lord in a world of baseball.