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Olson bounces back in second Double-A start
Mariners prospect ties career high with 10 strikeouts in seven innings
05/10/2014 1:25 AM ET
Tyler Olson is averaging 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings across two levels in his first full Minor League season. (Jeff Roush)

Tyler Olson had far fewer nerves to deal with Friday night than he did earlier this week in his Double-A debut.

That was a good thing for his new team, the Jackson Generals, and a not-so-good thing for their opponent, the Huntsville Stars.

Olson tied a career high with 10 strikeouts -- including five in his first two frames -- while allowing a run on a pair of hits over seven innings. The Mariners prospect was long gone by the time Jason Rogers hit a two-out walk-off single in the 13th inning to give Huntsville a 2-1 victory.

"My last outing, I was obviously a little nervous," said Olson, who issued just one walk on Friday. "I wasn't getting ahead with the way I was throwing, [leaving] fastballs kind of up that got hit around a little bit. I kind of went off of that, learned and pounded the zone and was down in the zone, so I had a lot more success tonight.

"I definitely knew kind of more what to expect as far as going out there and getting ready and facing batters. I was definitely a lot more calm tonight."

The 24-year-old left-hander began the year at Class A Advanced High Desert, where he went 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in five starts. After being promoted on May 1, Olson made his Double-A debut on May 4 and lasted just four innings against Pensacola, which tagged him for six runs and 10 hits.

His line Friday was decidedly different, although he did hit two batters and uncork a wild pitch. The southpaw in his first full professional season threw 58 of 88 pitches for strikes.

"It's a great feeling," Olson said. "Being able to give up the home run and still come back and throw strikes and get outs, I mean, that's a big plus for me."

The Gonzaga product's only hits came in the form of a two-out double by Mitch Haniger in the second inning and a solo home run by Kentrail Davis in the fifth.

"It was just a bad pitch," Olson said of the homer. "Changeup to a lefty that was up in the zone. I was actually trying to bury the pitch, just to kind of get a ground ball from him. And I just left it up -- home run."

Olson got the better of his next exchange with Davis, finishing off his outing with a 10th strikeout.

Though impressive, the start probably wasn't the best for the 2013 seventh-round pick. He recorded 10 strikeouts with Short-Season Everett last July 10, when he tossed a complete-game one-hit shutout.

"It definitely kind of brings back memories," Olson said. "I remember that same outing, I was just pounding the zone, not trying to do too much. Obviously, I had 10 strikeouts, but I wasn't trying to do too much. I just attacked hitters like I normally do and hope they put it in play and have some quick innings."

Richard Vargas and Stephen Shackleford followed Olson with two scoreless innings apiece, but Stephen Kohlscheen (1-1) allowed a run on three hits over 1 2/3 frames.

Five Huntsville relievers combined on eight shutout innings, with Eric Marzec (1-2) working the 13th for the win.

Mark Emery is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Emery. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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