Riley Martin – Picture by Stephanie Lynn

Tonight was about as clear-cut as it gets for Players of the Day.

Tonight’s was really the Riley Martin show. The piggyback starter for Myrtle Beach went 4.1 innings tonight and struck out 10 to earn Reliever of the Day. In addition, the Quincy University product only allowed one hit and lowered his ERA to 0.87. I’m not sure why he needs to be in Myrtle Beach much longer. He is dominating more and more each outing. Tonight’s performance lowered his batting average against .059 and his WHIP to 0.58. He has 20 Ks in 10.1 IP this spring. Those are some pretty gaudy numbers!

Earlier in the evening, Iowa’s Jared Young was the major news the first hour of the night until Martin came in for Myrtle Beach. Young hit two home runs in back-to-back plate appearances while going three-for-five on the night with four RBI. That raises average to .303 and improved his OPS to 1.166. I’m sure there’s some eyes opening in Chicago. Tonight, he played left field but he can also play first and second base as well as right field.

When it comes to the starting pitcher, tonight‘s honor belongs to South Bend’s Chris Clarke who pitched very efficiently going five innings on only 55 pitches. He allowed just two hits and struck out four and did not allow run in South Bend’s 3 to 0 victory over Beloit. Clarke threw 37 of his 55 pitches for strikes and worked quickly with the new pitch clock, which probably benefits him as he likes to get the ball and go.

Honorable Mentions

Brennen Davis went 2-for-5 with a home run tonight. Ildemaro Vargas also went 3-for-5 and Iowa reliever Eric Stout went three innings and struck out five. Nelson Velasquez went 2-for-4 in Tennessee while Kevin Alcantara did the same at Myrtle Beach. South Bend’s Fabian Pertuz went 2-for-4 and raised his average to .300 while Louis Verdugo went 2-for-3 while playing some third base for South Bend. Max Bain did not allow a hit or run as he pitched three scoreless innings while striking out three and Hunter Bigge struck two out of the three men he faced in the ninth for the save.

I will be back in the morning with a prospect update Riley Thompson of Tennessee.