Everett’s starting pitcher knew he wasn’t pitching long in Saturday’s game. But he made the most out of the innings he was out there.
Brandon Miller, who fanned three batters in three scoreless innings in the AquaSox 5-2 win over the Spokane Indians at Avista Stadium, was limited to three innings because the AquaSox want to save his arm for the Northwest League-Pioneer Leauge All-Star game on Tuesday.
“Anytime you get a chance to represent your team and your organization in the All-Star game, it’s a great honor,” AquaSox manager Rob Mummau said.
A sixth-round pick out of Millersville University, a Division II school in Pennsylvania, Miller’s interest among professional scouts picked up after a successful stint in the Cape Cod Summer League. His college pitching coach, Ryan Forrest, helped him land a 15-day contract with the Chatham Anglers, and he pitched so well there he was invited back for the whole summer.
Miller was the only non-Division I player to be named a 2015 Cape Cod All-Star after posting a 4-0 record with a 1.50 earned-run average.
“Being able to get those batters out at that level of play was a huge confidence (boost) going back to Millersville,” Miller said.
Playing in the Cape Cod Summer League put him in the draft conversation and his junior season at Millersville kept him there. He was a Division II All-American his final season at Millversville and helped lead his team to the Division II National Championship game, where it fell to Nova Southeastern in a best-of-3 series. He recorded a 1.47 ERA and was 12-2 for the Lancers as a junior.
He’s found success in the Northwest League, mostly by keeping his amount of walks low. Miller said that was the aspect of his game he struggled with the most entering college, but it’s his biggest strength as a minor leaguer.
“A lot the hitters in this league are very aggressive,” said Miller, who has walked only five batters this season. “It helps when they’re swinging at first pitch (and the) second pitch to keep the walks down.”
Miller played in college with Indians pitcher Reid Anderson and Boise shortstop Tyler Orris.
Everett roughed up Spokane starter CD Pelham, chasing him off the mound after 1 2/3 innings.
The AquaSox scored two in the first, with Bryson Brigman scoring on a throwing error from Indians first baseman Stephen Lohr and Nick Thurman walking with the bases loaded.
Things got worse for Pelham and the Indians in the second. Eric Filia laced an RBI single to right field and Charles LeBlanc committed a throwing error to score two more, pushing Everett’s lead to 5-0.
Pelham (0-2) had five walks and gave up four earned runs, picking up the loss.
The Indians scored in the fourth on an RBI double from Xavier Turner and in the fifth on an RBI single from Darius Day.
Seth Spivey was 2 for 3 and LeBlanc was 2 for 4 for the Indians.
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