Skip to main content

Tocci's three hits help BlueClaws win opener

Carlos Tocci
Tocci in action last season, image- Jay Floyd
LAKEWOOD, NJ- Three was the number. On Carlos Tocci's third opening day with the Lakewood BlueClaws, the talented outfielder collected three hits to lead the way toward his team's third-ever victorious home opener.

In their 15th opening day at the Jersey Shore town's FirstEnergy Park on Thursday, the BlueClaws battled temperatures in the 30's, rain and the Kannapolis Intimidators (White Sox) down to the wire. In the bottom of the 9th it was a Tocci walk-off single off of right-hander Peter Tago that gave the Class A BlueClaws the win.

The Venezuelan born Tocci, who has cited difficulty in the past adapting to the cold early-season weather in the northeast, didn't feel the effects of the damp and chilly night this time around. His bat packed all the heat the team needed.

"I have two years in this league, so I know how to play with this weather and I know how to prepare for it prior to the game," Tocci said with the help of a translator, coach Nelson Prada.

Despite being the hero for the night at the plate and on defense, having made two flat out stellar diving plays in the outfield, the 19-year-old wasn't through with his work. He spent an additional 20 minutes, or so, in the weight room working with the team trainer following the win.

"My plan now is to get stronger and to hit the ball (with more power)," Tocci shared. "With the strength and conditioning, people from the organization have me working on this sort of program to improve my hitting."

First-year Lakewood manager Shawn Williams stressed importance of the ability to come through in bone-chilling conditions as being critical to moving up toward the big leagues for a guy like Tocci.

"Your goal down the road is to play in Philly and it's going to be cold there too, so anytime that you can play in it and learn to play in it, obviously, he had a huge night and it's a good start for his season," Williams stated.

Kannapolis kicked off the scoring in the top of the 7th inning, when backstop Deivi Grullon was charged with a passed ball that allowed catcher Brett Austin to score. Lakewood tied the game in the bottom of the inning, when Tocci, who had doubled, scored on a Brad Salgado balk.

Right-handed starting pitcher Ricardo Pinto threw six scoreless innings in his BlueClaws debut, striking out two, while allowing two walks and three hits, but did not factor in the decision. Last year's 16th round draft selection, righty reliever Calvin Rayburn tossed a scoreless inning for the win.

The BlueClaws and the Intimidators will continue their three-game set when the teams meet at 7:05PM on Friday.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings. In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'

Diekman a Late Addition to Mesa AFL Roster

On Wednesday, Phillies lefty pitching prospect Jacob Diekman made his Arizona Fall League debut. Diekman, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft, was assigned to Mesa late, in order to increase his 2010 innings total, according to Mesa hitting coach Mark Parent, who managed Diekman in Lakewood this past season. Diekman, 23, posted a 2-0 record with 1.90 ERA in 21 games with Class A Lakewood before being promoted to High-A Clearwater on June 24th. In 24 games with the Threshers, Diekman went 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. Combined, Diekman tossed 55 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .187 batting average against at two levels in 2010. However, after not pitching in an official game since he threw a shutout inning to wrap up the Clearwater season on September 5th, Diekman was unable to record an out as all seven batters he faced reached base, six with hits, one on an error. Diekman was charged with 5 earned runs in the outing. Diekman had spent time at instructional ball f