Jack Fowler (Photo by PAUL A. JANNACE/The Wellsville Daily Reporter
By Paul Gotham
WELLSVILLE, NY – It was billed as an offensive showdown. A pitching performance proved the difference.
Jack Fowler (Felician) hurled a complete-game shutout as the Wellsville Nitros defeated the Syracuse Salts Cats, 4-0 in the first round of the New York Collegiate Baseball League playoffs at Wellsville Central Schools, Wednesday.
Fowler scattered eight hits, struck out six and walked two. The right-hander threw 141 pitches, 90 for strikes in his longest outing of the season.
“I don’t believe in pitch counts and stuff like that,” said Wellsville head coach Anthony Barone. “Jack was finishing that game. He obviously wanted it. He was lights out.”
Fowler worked out of a pair of jams.
Syracuse threatened in the fourth when they collected four hits but came away empty-handed. The speedy Bud Morton (Southern) beat out a cue shot between pitcher’s mound and first base to start the stanza. Fowler erased the leadoff hit with a pickoff move which caught Morton in a 1-3-6-3-4 rundown.
“Obviously it (the pickoff) was a big part of the game,” Fowler said. “Cam (Wellsville catcher, Friess) called it. I knew I had to execute it.”
Cristian Fiorito (Concordia) and Mike DeCarr (SUNY Cortland) followed with a pair of infield singles.
Fowler responded with a strike out, but Zach Carlino (Mt. Union) loaded the bases with a line drive through the left side of the infield.