Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Switch pitcher Henry Knight throws 11 solid innings

by pitching to contact, Knight averaged 11 pitches per inning

Henry Knight, ambidextrous pitcher
Seattle, June 30, 2013

Columbia City Reds vs. Seattle Select Silver 

Henry Knight both hit and pitched well for the Columbia City Reds 15U, but it wasn't enough as the Reds fell to Seattle Select Silver 6-4 at View Ridge field on Sunday.
Knight reached base three times in the game for the Columbia City Reds. He singled in the fifth and twelfth innings, scoring two runs in the game.

Henry Knight pitched 11 innings and allowed one earned run on eight hits.

Boxscore of the 12 inning game
(STLC= Seattle Select; CLMB = Columbia City Reds)
Note that there were lots of fielding errors in the game - dropped balls and overthrows.
The Details

Ambidextrous pitcher, Henry Knight, started the evening game of a doubleheader and went four solid innings throwing left-handed, giving up only one earned run.

In the fifth inning he switched to pitching right-handed and continued throwing strikes through the 11th inning.

No runs scored during the last nine innings when Knight was on the mound.

He turned the game over to the hard-throwing closer and moved to shortstop in the 12th inning with the game tied 4-4.

There are advantages to being a switch pitcher. Being able to keep the pitch count low without giving up runs, is one big advantage.

Switch pitcher Henry Knight - Columbia City Reds, Seattle

Game Plan

Normally, Henry Knight's plan is to throw three innings lefty and four innings righty over a seven inning game. The pitching strategy keeps his pitch count low so he is able to play shortstop the next game. That was his initial game plan.

His strategy is to throw strikes and pitch to contact while letting the fielders make the plays. His goal is to have a low pitch count, shut down the running game and limit the runs scored.

Rough Start for the Reds

The start of the game did not look good for the Reds. Unfortunately, there were a few fielding errors, so three runs scored early. Fortunately, the Columbia City Reds came back strong and posted four runs to tie the game.

The Reds were behind 4-1 in the fifth inning, when Henry switched to pitching right-handed. By the end of the fifth, the Reds tied the game 4-4, with three runs.

Pitching to Contact

Knight relied on his fielders to make the plays, including 20 fly ball and 9 ground ball outs. Max Malkin caught the entire 12-inning game – calling all the pitches and Patrick Lin was excellent in center field running down the fly balls.

Pitching to contact kept his pitch count very low throughout the game – averaging 11 pitches per inning.

During the season, he averaged 13 pitches per inning, while most pitchers in the league averaged 15 pitches per inning.

Finishing Strong

His pitching mechanics looked solid and he kept throwing strikes through the sixth and seventh innings - with the score still tied. He had a four pitch inning, and was having fun. Teammates were staying relaxed and telling jokes in the dugout. Being relaxed and in control kept Henry pitching strong through the eleventh inning.

Two seamer, circle change, cutter and curveball.

Pitch Count over 11 Innings

123 Pitches (61 pitches Lefty; 62 pitches Righty)

94 Strikes 

Quick Stats

11 IP  (4 LHP, 7 RHP)

76.4% strikes

87% first pitch strikes

11 pitches per inning

2 strikeouts

1 walk


Read more about switch pitcher Henry Knight

Learn about Henry Knight's off-season training program

Tip - Pitching to Contact Keeps the Pitch Count Low
As a coach, I do not advocate that a high school pitcher throw over 100 pitches in a game. It takes good mechanics, special training and conditioning be able to throw a full game. To keep the arm healthy it's import to average 15 pitches or less per inning. The long innings, with a lot of pitches, put a lot of strain on the arms and shoulders.

Pitch to contact on the corners of the strike zone and let the fielders make the outs.

How many pitches are too many in high school baseball?
Dr. James Andrews: 100-plus is too much

Division 1 Baseball - Pitch Count Watch - Boyd's World

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