Prep Baseball Report

Hillsborough Fends Off Gaither 4-0

By Mike Maerz
Director of Florida Operations/Area Scout

Thursday night featured a district match-up between the Gaither Cowboys and the Hillsborough Terriers that saw a great pitching duel, some key defensive plays, and timely hitting.

Hillsborough started 2017 RHP Bryce Blanco, who was the eventual winner as he found a way to scatter hits all night in his five innings of work that saw him give up no runs and get out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the fifth. Blanco competed against a tough Gaither lineup that featured 2016 SS Camryn Williams, 2017 OF Jose Cadenas, and 2017 OF Kenny Rodriguez at the top of the order.

For Gaither, 2016 LHP Gavin Gillespie did a nice job of mixing it up by using changeups and curveballs, while featuring a fastball with some movement. The Seminole State recruit repeats well, has a projectable build, and threw his breaking ball for strikes.

The bottom of the fifth is when 2017 MIF Ryan Romano took over for Hillsborough and hit a hard line drive into the left-center field gap for a double to bring in two runs. Romano has stood out over the past couple games with his athleticism, aggressiveness on the base path, and ability to hit the ball at key moments with runners on.

Hillsborough would eventually tack on two more as 2017 RHP/OF Jarrod Cande and 2016 RHP/SS Rodnie Bernard would come in for the sixth and seventh innings respectively to shut the door on any Gaither comeback. The Terriers would come away with a 4-0 victory and move to 2-0 on the season.

For Gaither, 2017 OF Jose Cadenas showed good range and the ability to track the ball playing center field. He also displayed above-average base running instincts by stealing second and third after being hit by a pitch in the first inning. 2017 OF Kenny Rodriguez showcased some quick hands at the plate and good bat speed, which resulted in a hard line drive down the left field line for a single early in the game.

For Hillsborough, 2017 1B Tim Elko laced a double into right field that one-hopped the fence in one of his at-bats. The Mississippi recruit has a strong, big body and the ball jumps off his bat. 2016 SS Rodnie Bernard stood out in the field with quick hands, accurate and on line throws, the ability to charge the ball, and good actions.