Category Archives: Baseball

Pitch counts coming to baseball next year

This story from the Associated Press:

RICHMOND, Va. — The National Federation of State High School Associations has directed its members to regulate the number of pitches a high school player can throw in a game amid growing concerns about overworking young arms.

The federation did not proscribe a specific number, but a limit must be established by next season, said Elliot Hopkins, the NFHS director of sports and student services. The limits will go into effect in the spring of 2017.

Every state plus the District of Columbia are federation members, Hopkins said Tuesday. Each state except Michigan has its own sports medicine advisory committee that will likely be involved in settling on a specific number.

“I think they’re better suited to determine what the number is,” Hopkins said, noting the number in warmer climates, where baseball season starts earlier, might be higher.

States like Texas have already established their limit at 125 pitches, and Alabama, Colorado and Kentucky have said that will be their number, too, Hopkins said. Minnesota will use 105 during the season and 115 or 120 in playoffs.

Anecdotal evidence suggested it was time to make the change. As a member of the USA Baseball sports medicine advisory committee, Hopkins said he sits between well-known sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews and former major league pitcher Tommy John at meetings. Andrews in 1974 pioneered a surgery, first performed on and then named for Tommy John, that reconstructs the ulnar collateral ligament in a pitcher’s elbow, allowing them to resume their careers after rehabilitation.

“During those meetings, Dr. Andrews always expressed how more and more of his service, and his surgeries, revolved around younger kids,” Hopkins said.

USA Baseball, the national governing body for amateur baseball, in 2014 launched the program “Pitch Smart,” which sets age-appropriate guidelines for the number of pitches a pitcher as young as 7 can throw and the amount of rest they should get between pitching appearances. Most amateur baseball leagues have adopted the guidelines, which set 120 pitches as the maximum recommended for pitchers ages 19-22. It then also requires they receives four days of rest.

One impact Hopkins hopes will come from the rule change will be the involvement of more players.

“You have maybe three or four pitchers in your bullpen typically,” he said. “Now, we’ll get some kids who really can’t throw five innings, can’t give you five innings, but they can give you a solid two, and now you’ve got a bullpen and you get more kids involved.”

The federation will no longer require its member associations to require a certain amount of rest between appearances by a pitcher.

Virginia coach Brian O’Connor, whose team won the national championship in 2015, called the changes “a step in the right direction” but was not sure a single pitch count number will have the desired effect.

“Somebody could throw 75 pitches three different times in a week,” he said.

“It’s not a be all, end all,” said Sean Ryan, a high school coach in Richmond whose team at Benedictine plays in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association and will not be subjected to the federation rules. He noted that a young pitcher often moves to another position during a game, or in the team’s next game, where he continues throwing in between innings and in the game.

Like other sports, youth baseball has a cottage industry offering year-round, specialized instruction. O’Connor said he is a big believer in athletes playing several sports, not just baseball.

“It has everything to do with, I think, other sports creating better athleticism in players and I think it’s important that they stay competitive year round,” he said. “I would rather see them on a basketball court working together as a team and staying physically active and competing to win.”

Five selected to WSBCA All-State teams

North Kitsap pitcher Kole Milyard and Central Kitsap pitcher Griffin McCormick were each named to their respective Washington State Baseball Coaches Association All-State teams on Monday.

Milyard was the Sun’s baseball player of the year and finished with a 6-1 record with 45 strikeouts while allowing only three earned runs in nine games. He was named to the Class 2A first team while McCormick was named to the 3A first team. McCormick was the Narrows League 3A MVP and won seven games and struck out 54 while posting a 1.47 earned run average.

Making the 2A second team were Bremerton’s Anthony Amicangelo and Zane Zurbrugg and Olympic’s Matt Walters.

The All-State teams are selected by WSBCA board and member coaches.

Geyer named to baseball coaches hall of fame

North Mason coach Bill Geyer threw out the first pitch at the All-State baseball series over the weekend in Yakima. He threw it his son, Daulton.

It was a big weekend for Geyer, who is battling terminal form of cancer. You can read more about that here.

Geyer’s team lost both games but he was named to the Washington State Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Five selected for All-State Baseball Series

Five West Sound baseball players were selected for the All-State Baseball Series this weekend in Yakima.

North Kitsap’s Kole Milyard, Bremerton’s Zane Zurbrugg and Anthony Amicangelo, Klahowya’s Jakob Wittig and North Mason’s Daulton Geyer were named to the series Sunday.

The five players were nominated from the 49th Senior All-Star Doubleheader that was played Friday at the Fairgrounds.

Two Kitsap athletes sign with OC

The Rangers announced their newest signings via Twitter:

Three South Kitsap baseball players named to Narrows 4A first team

All-Narrows League 4A
MVP—Mike Toglia, sr., Gig Harbor
Pitcher of year—Austin Whalen, sr., Timberline
Coach—Pete Jansen, Gig Harbor
First team—P, Lucas Reid, sr., Timberline; Derek Downey, jr., Olympia; Indigo Keeslar, sr., Yelm. C, Alex Garcia, so., South Kitsap; Jon Burghardt, sr., Gig Harbor. Inf, Cam MacIntosh, jr., Gig Harbor; Garrett Friesz, sr., Yelm; Christian Valdez, sr., Olympia; Ben Pedigo, sr., Olympia; Jacob Hinkle, sr., Stadium; Riley Hunter, sr., South Kitsap. OF, Luke Norvell, jr., Stadium; Scott Gunther, jr., Olympia; RJ Green, jr., Gig Harbor; Dusty Garcia, so., South Kitsap; Tyler Mick, sr., Stadium. Utl., Brock Gagliardi, jr., Bellarmine; Kennedy Cook, jr., Stadium. DH, Cody Kartman, sr., Timberline.
Second team—P, Peter Allegro, so., Bellarmine; Nathanial Rowan, jr., South Kitsap; Jordan O’Conner, sr., Stadium; Brenden Nee, so., Olympia. INF, Colton Robinson, sr., Gig Harbor; Randy Reynolds, sr., Yelm; Jeremy Shurman, sr., Gig Harbor; Chad Stevens, jr., Gig Harbor; Austin Bayne, sr., South Kitsap, Bryce Wolfe, sr., South Kitsap. OF, Austin Hackman, sr., South Kitsap; Dalton Elliott, sr., Olympia; Aaron Furman, sr., Timberline; Conner Seaton, jr., South Kitsap; Neal Hassan, sr., Gig Harbor. Utl., Drew Worden, so., South Kitsap; Daylon Matthews, sr., Yelm. DH, James Gunter, sr., Olympia.
Honorable mention—SK: P, Jack Oswood, sr., Dan Tomkiewicz, sr., Kyle Erickson, sr..

CK baseball falls in state baseball opener

Central Kitsap’s hopes of challenging for a state baseball title crashed and burned as the Cougars lost 14-1 to Lynnwood in the first round of the Class 3A tournament Saturday at Rister Stadium in Kelso.

Central Kitsap (22-3) allowed seven runs in the top of the first inning. It took the Cougars 29 minutes and 60 pitches to record three outs. Starting pitcher Griffin McCormick recorded only one out before being relieved by Matt Vessey.

Lynnwood (16-8) tacked on four runs in the third inning and three runs in the fourth as the Royals advanced to face Southridge in the quarterfinals.

Central Kitsap, which finished third at state in 2015, scored its lone run in the fourth inning.
The game was delayed 45 minutes due to rain.