Takeaways from 2020 Red vs. White Series

The Cougars concluded their fall exhibition schedule on Sunday evening with a decisive game three in the Red vs. White World Series . . . Team Red walked it off in the final frame to take the game 5-4 and the series.

Having seen the primary starting pitchers from this past springs roster depart, it is a fair question to wonder who was going to fill those voids going into 2021 . . . If this weekend was any indicator, there are, at least for now, several directions the coaching staff could choose to go with so many new arms in the mix, and some returning pitchers.

Returners include Robert Gasser, Derrick Cherry, Isaiah Blaylock, Tanner Green, and Cole Ferguson, all of whom saw action on the mound this weekend . . . With the exception of Gasser, who started Friday’s game, the other pitchers all worked in relief efforts, most of which with pre-determined by either innings or pitch counts.

Junior college and other transfers include Jaycob Deese, Ben Sears, Blake Schultz, Maddux Miller, Cameron Prayer, Andrew Belcik, and Matt Lazzaro . . . Freshman newcomers include Patrick Dunn, John Alvey, Colby Casey, and Dravin Barber . . . The arms offered a variety of techniques and even physical abilities, with Dunn standing at 6-6 and Sears and Blaylock both at 6-5 for instance . . . These tall throwers offer the Cougars the ability to change the eye level of hitters expecting pitchers closer to the 6-foot frame . . . The pitchers also combine to offer a diverse mix of styles, some guys are raw power, while others are finesse guys able to hit spots and keep their pitch counts low by keeping the ball in the yard.

And those are just the pitchers that saw action this weekend.

The offense for the Cougars had the misfortune of having to face the Cougars pitching depth, but some hitters did have notable performances . . . Steven Rivas hit two homeruns in the weekend series, one on Friday night and one on Sunday night . . . Neither Rivas homerun was in doubt, with the second homerun traveling 416 feet just over the right-field foul pole . . . Freshman Samuel Tormos hit the only other homerun of the weekend, a three-run line-drive over the left-field fence on Friday night.

Brad Burckel had himself a Sunday evening . . . He tripled once to right-center to set up his scoring on a passed ball to give Red a 3-2 lead . . . An inning later Burckel sent his Red teammates home a winner with a fly ball single to the right-field wall that plated the winning run.

The Cougars defense was solid throughout the weekend . . . Freshman Will Pendergrass made some amazing off-balance field-and-throws from third . . . Luke Almendarez made some wide-ranging plays, a couple of them in key situations . . . Skyler Trevino also made some tremendous defensive plays at second on Friday night.

All told Team Red scored nine runs on the weekend to the Team White’s six runs in taking this 2020 Red vs. White Series . . . The team breaks for the winter in the coming days and then returns in January to get ready for whatever 2021 season takes shape. –

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