Columbus Clippers pitcher Zach McAllister came out with an undefeated record on the mound. As of Monday night, that still has not changed after Columbus defeated the Charlotte Knights, 5-2.
McAllister faced 27 batters in the seven innings he pitched, giving up just five hits, two runs.
He threw 102 pitches, an impressive 71 of them strikes.
“It’s one thing where I got into a little groove and was able to carry it,” McAllister said. “I think that’s kind of big for me, having that good feeling on the mound and taking advantage of it when I can.”
McAllister is now 6-0 on the season.
McAllister was drafted in 2006 out of Illinois Valley Central High School by the New York Yankees. The Cleveland Indians acquired McAllister in August 2010.
The learning curve has been a little harder for him coming straight out of high school, but he has handled it with grace.
“I had some success early in my career at the lower levels, then this past year was a little rough for me, statistics-wise,” McAllister said. “I think that one of the best things to happen to me was to grow from the struggle.”
The 6’6″ right-hander impresses his colleagues.
“He keeps making strides each outing,” Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “His slider was really good, he did a good job of getting us off the field quick, and those are good nights when you are a pitcher.”
Columbus jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. First baseman Travis Buck’s RBI single brought in center fielder Ezequiel Carrera, giving the Clippers a 1-0 lead.
Columbus put another on the board when designated hitter Cord Phelps’ sacrifice fly brought in shortstop Jason Donald.
A Buck pop-out put Columbus up 3-0 in the third inning, shortly followed by Donald’s solo shot in the fifth, making it 4-0.
Charlotte cut the score to 4-1 in the sixth inning when shortstop Eduardo Escobar’s double brought in second baseman Gookie Dawkins.
Center fielder Jordan Danks put the only damper on the night for McAllister when he crunched a solo homerun in the seventh inning, making it 4-2.
McAllister was still not be phased, as he ended the inning striking out Escobar. Columbus put their final run on the board in the eighth inning, making it 5-3.
McAllister is already looking forward to improving more.
“I just got to go out and take every day like it’s your last one out here,” he said. “Today was a great day for me, and I am happy, but the next one is the one that matters for me.”
Columbus is now 24-7 on the year. Charlotte dropped to 12-18. They will continue their four-game-series against Charlotte tomorrow night at Huntington Park at 6:35 p.m.