Ayers Ks 14, but Fishers knocks off Columbus North



By Phil Wade
Director of Operations, PBR Indiana

On one of the nicest evenings we've seen so far this season, the Fishers Tigers overcame 15 strikeouts, 14 of them coming against Columbus North ace Danny Ayers, to defeat the Bulldogs of Columbus North 7-4.

Ayers, a Western Michigan commit, looked as though he was in mid-season form sitting 89-92 mph through his first three innings of work.  He pounded the zone with his fastball, and kept the Fishers’ hitters off balance with his breaking ball at 73-77 mph.  Ayer’s didn’t let up much, sitting 88-90 mph in his last two innings of work.  Ayers pitched five complete innings, compiling 14 strikeouts and allowed just one hit, an infield single. 

The Tigers allowed one run in the first on sophomore Devin Mann’s RBI triple.  Fishers’ right hander, Griffin Hulecki, started the game for the Tigers and went 5 2/3 innings allowing one earned run on seven hits.  Hulecki sat 80-83 mph with his fastball, touching 84 on a couple of occasions.  The junior RHP pounded the zone all night, locating his pitches well. 

Fishers put three runs across the plate in the fourth innings after a couple of walks and miscues by the Columbus North defense.  The Bulldogs then put three more runs on the board in the top of the sixth giving them a one run lead at 4-3.  In the sixth, Columbus North made a pitching change, and the Fishers’ offense suddenly awoke with three straight singles by Ben Pritchett (2013), Connor Christiansen (2014), and Jacob Totman (2015).  Taylor Canter then executed a double squeeze, and by the end of the sixth inning Fishers held a commanding 7-4 lead, which ended up being the final score.

Fishers stole a total of five bases on the night, with Totman leading the way offensively with 2 hits and 2 RBI.  Junior Mike Chakiry came on in relief in the sixth inning, pitching the Tigers out of a jam and recorded the final four outs for the Fishers come from behind victory.

Fishers—Chakiry: WP; Totman: 2-3, 2 RBI; Canter: 2 RBI

Columbus North—Ayers: 5 IP, 14K’s; Hoelthe: 2-2, Runs; Wingate 2-3 ,1 RBI

Scouting Notes

Fishers:

Griffin Hulecki, RHP, 2014: Hulecki threw a lot of strikes with all of his pitches.  Kept his fastball down in the zone at 80-84.  Breaking ball showed tight spin, with late action that he kept hitters off balance with all night, good out pitch.  Overall good command and knowledge of the strike zone. 

Jacob Totman, OF, 2015: Totman may be undersized at 5-foot-9 inches, but can flat out play the game.  Was strong at the plate going 2-3 with 2 RBI.  Shows good speed on the bases, and athleticism in the field.  Arm is strong and accurate. 

Cory Reed, C, 2012: Reed is a 5-foot-11, 180 pound catcher.  Best pop time of the night was a 2.04.  Showed quick feet behind the plate, and moves well.  Received and blocked well throughout the game.  Did not hit. 

Mike Chakiry, RHP, 2014: 6-foot, 225 pound junior was 80-81 mph with his fastball.  Threw a lot of strikes.  Breaking ball was 68-73 and thrown consistently for a strike with a sweeping action.  Shows an inward turn during the windup and stays on top of the baseball, throwing from a high ¾ to over the top arm slot.

Columbus North:

Danny Ayers, LHP, 2013: Ayers was extremely impressive in his first outing of the year.  Was up to 92 mph with his fastball, sitting consistently 88-90 throughout his 5 IP.  Breaking ball was on point, with tight spin that he threw consistently for a strike.  Showed a changeup at fastball arm speed that he threw for a strike, but not much movement.  Struck out 14 Fishers’ hitters in 5 IP.  Only allowed hit was an infield single to 2B.

Devin Mann, SS, 2015: Mann showed tons of athleticism and solid defensive actions in pre-game warm-ups.  The now 6-foot-3 sophomore possesses an athletic frame with a strong arm across the field.  Shows good lateral movement and speed running the bases.  At the plate displayed pop, scorching a triple to the right-center field wall in the first.  In his other at bats just got under it, flying out to center.  Tends to drop his back shoulder at times which caused the two fly outs.  Bat speed is there. 

Brice McDaniel, 1B, 2016: McDaniel is an impressive 6-foot-1, 205 pound freshman.  At first he worked well around the bag and displayed good arm strength.  At the plate he never looked overmatched as a freshman.  Displayed the ability to hit to all fields with a compact swing, making hard contact on his RBI single in the sixth inning.  High follow in the 2016 class. 

Evan Finke, C, 2015: Behind the plate he handled Ayer’s velocity extremely well.  Showed he can block and receive the ball as a sophomore at a high level.  Arm strength is not there yet, posted pop times in the 2.23-2.30 range.  At the plate uses a balanced setup and starts his hands high.  His lower half is strong and shows some pop potential.