Royals pitching plans continues to work to perfection
Alex Rudquist and Matt Meyer combine on a four-hit shutout as the Rochester Royals beat the New Market Muskies 6-0 in amateur baseball.
ROCHESTER — The Rochester Royals have used an effective pitching plan in a pair of recent games. Left-hander Matt Meyer is the team ace, but he is being used in long relief out of the bullpen.
The Royals used the strategy to perfection on Wednesday in a 6-0 win over the New Market Muskies at Mayo Field in amateur baseball. Alex Rudquist started for the Royals and the right-hander threw three scoreless innings. Meyer then came on and threw six more scoreless innings.
“We’re an analytics team now, like the Tampa Bay Rays,” Meyer said with a chuckle. “We have an opener and I’m the six-inning closer.”
Using Meyer for just six innings does save wear and tear on the 37-year-old former minor-league pitcher. This marks the second time Rudquist opened with three shutout innings before yielding to Meyer.
The right-handed Rudquist allowed just one and he struck out four.
“He commanded both sides of the plate, put breaking balls over and go outs,” Royals catcher Logan Milene said.
“Rudquist was awesome to start it out,” Meyer said. “Just one hit through three (innings) and he was solid as always. It’s fun when things are clicking and we just have to keep it rolling.”
Meyer allowed three hits over the final six innings. He struck out 12 and walked just one.
“He dominates,” Milene said. “He throws from both angles, up top and down below with offspeed (pitches) from both angles.”
Meyer used an assortment of arm angles as he mixed in fastballs and offspeed pitches to keep New Market off balance.
“Just getting ahead in the count, staying ahead in the count is always helpful,” Meyer said. “Also if you pitch ahead, your defense is more on their toes. If you pitch behind, they kind of get on their heels.”
The Royals played a strong defensive game with just one error. They made several stellar plays in the field.
“I think that it’s awesome that you get to play behind Matt in the field,” Royals outfielder Nick Pearson said.
New Market pitcher Zach Dorhman held the Royals to three hits over the first six innings. But all three were in the third when Rochester scored twice on RBI singles by Michael Michalak and Milene.
Pearson started the rally with a single and stolen base. He also had a hit and scored his second run of the game to start a four-run seventh to seal the win. The Royals added four more stolen bases in the seventh.
“I think our success with this team is just getting runners on and using our ability to base run and take extra bases,” said Pearson, who also went from first to third on a wild pitch in the seventh.
Alex Holets and Easton Fritcher both had RBI singles in the seventh while Michalak hit a sacrifice fly and Milene added an RBI double. The Royals have continued to score multiple runs in innings late in games all season.
“We bring it,” Pearson said. “There are a lot of teams that will die, but I think it’s just constantly putting pressure on as the game goes on.”
Pearson and Milene both had two hits. Milene and Michalak both had two RBIs while Pearson and Nolan Jurgenson each scored twice.
The Royals are now a stellar 17-3 overall and 5-1 in Section 1B at the halfway point in league play. Rochester will play at Stewartville-Racine in Stewartville at 7:30 p.m. on July 6.
“They’re a good ballclub and they don’t go down easy,” Meyer said of New Market. “It’s good to get a ‘W’ against them, it’s always good to get a ‘W’ in section (games).”
Royals 6, New Market 0
New Market: Andy Henkemeyer 2-for-3. Pitcher: Zach Dohrman (LP) 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 K.
Royals: Michael Michalak 1-for-3, 2 RBI; Logan Milene 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R; Easton Fritcher 1-for-1, 1 RBI, 1 SB; Nick Pearson 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 SB; Adam Marshall 1-for-1; Alex Holets 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 2 SB; Nolan Jurgenson 2 R, 1 SB. Pitchers: Alex Rudquist 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K; Matt Meyer (WP) 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K.