by Barca Blog
One of the incentives for throwing a shutout? Getting to take BP.
The Commodore pitching staff earned the right to hit in the cage during practice Wednesday, thanks to Richie Goodenow's complete-game, two-hit shutout against Louisville on Sunday.
And you just knew by their expressions that the guys enjoyed the moment. As junior reliever Russell Brewer told me, any pitcher that hasn't hit since high school misses it.
"It's fun," he noted. "We just like to get out here and try to take some hacks and have some fun to loosen up."
Brewer, who was recruited as an infielder, led the hitting parade by crushing five consecutive homers into the bleachers of Hawkins Field. He twisted his cap backwards -- Ken Griffey, Jr. style -- after the third one left the park.
"I'm begging for ABs every game," Brewer said with a grin. "I tell coach (Corbin) all the time to put me in. All I want is an opportunity ... He told me that I'd get my chance."
Brewer wanted that chance in the regional opener against Illinois State last Friday. When the offense was struggling against Redbirds reliever Kenny Long, Brewer suggested to coach Josh Holliday that the Commodore pitchers would fare better at the plate against the slow-throwing southpaw than the hitters.
"He was right, but we didn't choose him," Corbin quipped. "We chose Jack (Armstrong), and Russell was the second choice -- he was door number two."
We know the result of that decision, but could Brewer get the same shot at glory before it's all said and done?
"Russell can hit," Corbin added. "Don't tell him that I said that, but he came here as a hitter. He's got some strength."
Watch one of Brewer's homers in the video below, plus extra footage of starter Sonny Gray in the cage.
Side note: Russell, who has been out of action since mid-May due to arm soreness, told me he hopes to pitch in Tallahassee this weekend. He needs one more save to tie the school record of 19 held by Ryan Rote.
Video 1: Russell Brewer taking BP & interview (click to enlarge video)
Video 2: Sonny Gray takes swings from both sides of the plate (click to enlarge video)