The USF baseball team chased Tampa Bay Rays’ Cy Young winner Blake Snell in the first inning of an exhibition game on Tuesday night in Port Charlotte. Although the Rays won 7-2, the real story here is:
THE BULLS ROUGHED UP THE REIGNING CY YOUNG WINNER.
Bulls infielder Jordan Feist tried to have some fun with Snell before the game on Instagram:
An example of how @USFBaseball players are excited about facing #Rays Snell - Feist is starting at SS tonight, posted on Instagram. Also, per his coach, has never swung a wood bat in a game before. pic.twitter.com/tZ0hGq7Qsg— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 5, 2019
Although the Feist never faced Snell (and struck out twice in three at-bats), the Bulls still got to the lefty ace in the first inning.
Snell struck out OF Garrett Zech to begin the game. That was Snell’s only highlight of the night.
He plunked OF Kyle Phillips, who then stole second. 1B Joe Genord followed that up with double to left to score Phillips. OF Chris Chatfield moved Genord to third on a groundout, then catcher Tyler Dietrich singled on a slow roller to third which allowed Genord to score. Dietrich then stole second and Snell walked Jordan Santos before he got the hook.
Snell’s final line: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP.
#Rays Snell was tough on himself, saying fastball command was issue but more so he was disappointed in how he was approached the game mentally, that he saw it as “lose-lose” situation facing college team in @USFBaseball— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 6, 2019
#Rays Snell after rough outing vs. @USFBaseball: "Just disappointed in the way that I approached the game today and disappointed in fastball command because it was really crap.''— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 6, 2019
More from #Rays Snell on his frustrating night: "In the bullpen I felt great, like, "Wow, I'm really good today,' and then out there I was like, "Wow, April Fool's.' ''— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 6, 2019
Snell didn’t take this outing seriously because it was a “lose-lose” against the Bulls. Well, fam, you face the Orioles 18 times a year. What’s the difference, really?
Former Bulls Face Their Old Team
RHP Brandon Lawson went against Alex Bello (strikeout), Austin Bodrato (ground out), and Feist (fly out) in the seventh inning. Lawson was drafted by the Rays in the 12th round of the 2016 MLB draft. He made a one game appearance in AAA in 2017 for the Durham Bulls, but has settled in at the AA level so far.
RHP Phoenix Sanders faced Julio Cortez, Nick Gonzalez, and Alex Bello and struck out the side in typical Sanders fashion. He was drafted in the 10th round of the 2017 MLB draft by the Rays. He’s settled into a relief pitching role in the pros and has reached High-A in 2018. He’s striking out over 11 batters per-nine-innings in the minors.
- Pat Doudican made his return to the mound after missing some time with an injury. He gave up four runs on three hits, walked two, and struck out one in one inning.
- Dylan Burns had himself a game. He threw three innings, allowed just one hit, walked two, and struck out five batters.
- Noah Yager made his 2019 debut, albeit unofficially after missing the first two weeks of the season. He allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits, and two walks in one inning of work.