Daniel Norris has long been dealing for the East Cobb Yankees, but they had a pair of aces from Science Hill this week.
Will Carter pitched 12 shutout innings and Norris struck out 11 and gave up one run in six innings while helping the Yankees to a runner-up finish in the World Wood Bat Association’s 18-under tournament in Atlanta.
Carter, a 6-foot-3 right-hander who has signed with East Tennessee State, allowed one hit, walked one and struck out two during five shutout innings against the IBAHS Knights on Sunday.
He followed up with a complete-game shutout on Thursday against Chain Black ’12. Carter allowed three hits, two walks and struck out two in seven innings.
“It was a really good experience for me,” Carter said. “The defense was a lot better and everybody made plays, so I didn’t really have to worry about anything except throwing strikes.”
Pinpoint precision in the first outing allowed Carter to rely almost exclusively on a fastball that topped out at 89 mph in his first outing. Fifty-six of 60 pitches were fastballs, and all were four-seamers.
“I’m throwing about the same speed, but I’m hitting my spots a little better than I was,” Carter said. “I only threw four offspeed pitches the whole game, and I got 11 ground balls, one fly-out and three strikeouts.
“I was moving it in and out, and my ball was moving pretty good. That helps a lot.”
Carter said ETSU assistant Matt Landreth was in attendance for his first outing. Buccaneers coach Tony Skole was in Omaha, Neb., pitching to Dylan Pratt in the College Home Run Derby.
Carter calls Skole after each appearance on the mound. He said Skole could be going to Atlanta this coming week to watch the 17-under championships, as well as some exhibition games with Carter’s Yankees.
Scouts still quickly gravitate to Norris when he takes the mound despite the fact that he was drafted in the second round last month by the Toronto Blue Jays. Norris, a Clemson signee, has until Aug. 15 to iron out a deal with Toronto.
Norris could get a bonus offer in excess of million dollars. He didn’t hurt his stock this week.
The 6-foot-2 1/2 left-hander struck out 10 in five innings on Tuesday against the MVP Expos. He allowed one run on four hits and a walk.
Norris got the save Friday to get the Yankees to the championship game. He struck out one, walked none and allowed one hit in a scoreless inning that sealed the Dulin Dodgers’ first defeat in nine tournament games.
Norris, also an exceptional outfielder, went 1-for-2 with three RBIs, including a two-run double, in a 7-6 victory on Thursday.
The Yankees lost 10-1 to a team from San Diego in the championship game Friday.
Rising Science Hill senior Heath Loyd and Joe Ganger (David Crockett) played in the tournament for Knoxville-based Diamond Simcox, which went 1-1-3 in pool play.
n Most blogs and recent reports suggest that if defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin isn’t re-signed by the San Francisco 49ers once the NFL lockout ends, he’s most likely to end up in Kansas City or Washington. He would follow Steve Spurrier as the second Science Hill alumnus to receive paychecks from both the 49ers and Washington Redskins.
Spurrier came to Johnson City this week and spent part of his time visiting with former Hilltoppers coaches Kermit Tipton and Elvin Little.
Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks are ranked in some preseason publications’ Top 10. USC should be explosive with junior receiver Alshon Jeffery and sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore.
But as defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson put it in a recent conversation, incoming freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is generating more discussion than anyone. Clowney was the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit.
Johnson has Science Hill connections other than Spurrier. Jerry Wolff coached Johnson in high school and went on to become Johnson’s hometown (Winnsboro, S.C.) minster.
Wolff played on Sidney Smallwood’s 1954 Hilltoppers basketball team that was 26-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state before losing 51-50 to Memphis Treadwell in the state tournament.
Smallwood’s team included a Hilltopper who was drafted by the Washington Redskins, the late Bo Austin, who was the 1957 Sun Bowl MVP for George Washington University. Austin and Wolff’s teammates that season included Ferrell Bowman, who played baseball for the San Francisco Giants, and Bob Taylor, who was drafted 69th overall by the Baltimore Colts in 1958 after playing football at Vanderbilt.
n Three players who were seniors on Science Hill’s 2007 baseball team are having solid seasons in the minor leagues. Chas Byrne has six saves and a 3.92 ERA for the Kane County Cougars, a Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals in the Northwest League.
Byrne (1-1), a 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander, has 40 strikeouts and seven walks in 41 1/3 innings.
Catcher Matt Rice is leading the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League in batting (.370). Rice is also second in home runs and an RBI out of the team lead despite having roughly one-third fewer at-bats than many teammates.
First baseman Paul Hoilman leads the Northwest League’s Boise Hawks in home runs (four) and RBIs (15). The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Hoilman hit his fourth home run Thursday. The rest of the Hawks have combined for four home runs.
Trey Williams is a sports writer for the Johnson City Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.