April 22, 2017
Story and photo by Mike Drew SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It didn’t take long for the Norfolk Tides to figure out what they were up against on Friday night. Designated Hitter Johnny Giavotella was the second batter of the night to face Chiefs’ starter Austin Voth. The second pitch of their encounter was a blistering fastball […]
Story and photo by Mike Drew
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It didn’t take long for the Norfolk Tides to figure out what they were up against on Friday night.
Designated Hitter Johnny Giavotella was the second batter of the night to face Chiefs’ starter Austin Voth. The second pitch of their encounter was a blistering fastball up and in, forcing Giavotella to uncomfortably back off the plate.
Turns out, that was the best term to describe Norfolk’s hitters all night.
Over six shut-out innings, Voth threw struck out five Tides on 87 pitches. He extended the staff scoreless innings streak to 19. He also yielded only four hits, allowing the Chiefs (6-7) to cruise to a 3-0 victory over Norfolk (5-9).
“I wanted to focus on being down in the zone and throwing three pitches for strikes,” Voth said.
Voth was only truly tested twice all night. Both times in the middle innings.
He walked Giavotella and Right Fielder Pedro Alvarez in the fourth, but managed to punch out Second Baseman Robert Andino and get Catcher Chance Sisco to bounce into a fielder’s choice to short to escape the jam.
Then in the fifth, Voth allowed three singles. The last one was a perfectly executed bunt by Center Fielder Logan Schafer to load the bases with one out.
Promptly, Voth settled down and got Giavotella to pop out to second. Left Fielder Chris Dickerson followed with a ground out to the same spot.
Just as soon as Norfolk mounted a rally, it was over,
“He did an outstanding job of situational pitching,” Chiefs Manager Billy Gardner said. “He was under some pressure there and made the pitches to get out of it and avoid any damage.”
Despite the current winning steak, the Chiefs’ offense had only scored four runs combined in its last two games.
On Friday, they managed to string three runs together in the third against Norfolk starter Mike Wright (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K),
It started with a single up the middle from the number eight hitter, Shortstop Adrian Sanchez. Right Fielder Caleb Ramsey followed with a walk. Then, Left Fielder Brian Goodwin delivered an RBI single to make it a 1-0 game.
After that, Designated Hitter Brandon Snyder (who drove in the Chiefs’ only run in Thursday’s win over Toledo) punched a two-run single into the gap in left-center. Ramsey scored all the way from first on the play and all of a sudden the Chiefs were up three.
At this point, most everyone in the ballpark knew the game was over.
It was that kind of night.
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Voth entered this season ranked as the number ten prospect in the Washington Nationals’ system as well as the number three pitching prospect by Baseball America.
Uncharacteristically, he was shelled in his last outing by Rochester (3.0 IP, 9 H, 7 ER).
On Friday, it was clear to everyone that Voth had returned to form.
It was his night.
“He really located well,” Gardner said. “I thought he changed speeds and had outstanding timing.”
Both teams will go at it again Saturday afternoon at 1:05. It’s game two of a three-game series that will wrap up Sunday at MBT Bank Stadium. Taylor Hill (0-1, 9.64 ERA) will start for Syracuse, while Tyler Wilson (1-1, 5.40 ERA with the Baltimore Orioles) will get the ball for Norfolk.