Game Notes: Ringgold at The Westminster Schools
May 17, 2018
In a GHSA class 3A semifinal with fellow Region 5 co-champ Lovett already having secured its place in the state championship series, Westminster captured game one of its double-header with Ringgold by a score of 5-3. The Tigers got on the board in the opening frame courtesy of a two-strike, two-out, two-run home run, but the Wildcats got all they needed in the bottom of the third inning courtesy of two Ringgold errors and a pair of two-run doubles. A 3-2 win in game two of the double-header solidified the winner-take-all grudge match for Westminster against Lovett at Mercer University next week.
Billy Beane taught us that we aren't selling jeans, but Ringgold 2019 outfielder Andre Tarver sure does fill out the uniform well. Listed at 6-foot-2, 197-pounds on the Tigers football roster, he has significant strength throughout a developed build that appears to have pushed above two bills by now. The left-handed hitting Mississippi State recruit showed a solid approach against a mid-80s southpaw, fighting off a fastball on the inner third of the plate to muscle a single to center, staying through a slider on a fly out, and smoking a line drive on which he wasn't out of the batter's box before the pitcher stabbed it in his glove. Moved well in the outfield, making two nice catches in right-center field in the bottom of the first inning, including a sliding catch on one knee off a fading pop up. Did not get any home-to-1B times on this day.
Westminster 2020 third baseman Parks Harber has a developed frame for an underclassman and exhibited an advanced approach at the plate, staying in the middle of the diamond against a low-80s left-handed pitcher. The Georgia commit put a good swing on the ball his first at-bat that resulted in a lineout when Tarver ran it down in right-center. Smoked a double to left-center that keyed the Wildcats five-run third inning outburst and flied out to Tarver again in his third at-bat. Didn't get out of the box well on his double, but appeared to be a good runner underway. No ground balls hit his way during game play, but showed good feet, an ability to field the baseball out front, and solid arm strength during pre-game and between innings.
Ringgold 2019 catcher Dalton Schley loudly opened the scoring on the day with a two-run home run in the first inning on an 0-2 fastball after he had swung through fastballs on the previous two pitches. Showed a solid two-strike approach again his third trip to the plate to pick up another 0-2 hit to give himself a 3-3 afternoon. The left-handed hitter gets his hands to a desirable launch point with good separation in his load and extends through contact well. Showed a relaxed glove when receiving and solid arm strength with pop times of 2.09-2.16 in between innings.
Despite the five-run outburst, Ringgold 2019 LHP Holden Tucker pitched admirably, allowing just two earned runs on four hits and two walks against seven strikeouts in six innings of work. Tucker has a medium build, works fast and repeats his delivery. Fastball sat 81-82, touching 83 mph and he pounded it to the armside third of the plate and expanded off. Pitched primarily off his fastball, although did feature a mid-70s change-up with some sink that was thrown more as a chase pitch than one with which he grabbed an early strike. Frame doesn't scream projection, but he has pitchability and competes.
The winning pitcher in this one was Westminster 2019 LHP Luke Jannetta, who authored a complete game, five-hitter with one walk and four strikeouts, only allowing one run on three hits after a two-run top of the first. The lanky Tulane recruit has a short, catcher-like ball-to-ear takeaway and incorporates a slight back shoulder dip over the rubber. He fastball sat 83-85 and he located it well to the armside of the plate, occasionally showing in against right-handed hitters. Also employed a slider at 79-80 with short cut action early that appeared to get a little bit bigger break as the game wore on.
Ringgold 2020 third baseman Brayden Broome didn't have any defensive chances during game action, but stood out during pre-game with his ability to play low-to-high with a soft glove. Arm strength is currently playable, while he could get additional carry on throws from his over-the-top slot by lengthening out his arm path. Right-handed hitter has a fairly quiet set-up with a slight bat waggle for rhythm. Path has a bit of length right now, although expect the bat speed to pick up as he adds strength to his (eyeballing it) 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame.