The Stuart Hall pitching coach looked at his pitch chart like it held a secret to the art of getting batters out.
And it did.
Sure, Knights pitcher Chauncey Aceret threw his curveball for strikes, located his fastball and trusted his capable defense. But the numbers on the chart told the entire story.
The senior right-hander threw 22 of his 27 first pitches for strikes — numbers the Giants’ bullpen could learn from — as the Knights knocked off Lick-Wilmerding 4-1 in a speedy Bay Counties League West affair at Skyline College.
“It allows you to experiment with pitches,” Aceret said of getting ahead on the Lick hitters. “I have a good curve and a good fastball, but it allows me to throw my changeup more.”
In seven innings of work, Aceret (3-0) gave up only one run on five hits and walked two. After the lone Tigers run in the third inning, he didn’t allow a hit to the final 10 batters he faced.
Most impressive, though, is that Aceret considered his complete-game 7-1 win over Crystal Springs Uplands last week a better performance. And if that wasn’t enough, coaches were quick to point out that he only started pitching in high school.
Not bad for a guy whose curveball beguiled Tigers hitters.
But there is more. Aceret won’t be pitching at a college near you next season, but his arm will be creating a different sound than a pop in the catcher’s mitt. He will matriculate to the University of Michigan, where he will continue the study of his passionate art form — the cello.
He isn’t the only pitcher on a talented Knights staff that will get plenty of work in the upcoming weeks. But The Hall (6-8, 4-4) is hoping its plate appearances will continue to be productive.
Stuart Hall scored two runs in the third with four singles and got two more in the fourth when Bill MacInnis led off the inning with a double. It was all Aceret needed as he forced the Tigers to swing their bats and watched third baseman Sasha Flandrich, shortstop Julio Sermeno and second baseman Brenden Sullivan all make solid plays on grounders.
Knights coach John Bertken was optimistic that his team’s ability to hit will be revealed in a nine-game stretch in 13 days that began with the victory over the Tigers.
“We know we can hit,” said Bertken, who like every other coach in the BCL West is looking at University as the team to beat. “We’ve been hitting the ball hard, but right at people.”
Lick-Wilmerding ace Caleb Kauffman only gave up six hits, but struggled with his control at times.
“He battled the whole day,” Lick coach Manny Granillo said. “They had fewer errors and my kid [Kauffman] felt like he didn’t have his best stuff.”
Lick-Wilmerding (10-11, 6-6) will have an opportunity to avenge the loss today when the Tigers host Stuart Hall at Skyline at 4 p.m.