Former second-rounder Stetson Allie has had his fair share of command problems in his first month of professional baseball. On Sunday, the right-hander showed he's learning from his mistakes.
Allie pitched three hitless innings, walking a pair and striking out three, but the short-season State College Spikes dropped a 3-2 decision to the Williamsport Crosscutters.
"I was all right tonight, and I felt like I was throwing the ball well," he said. "I only got into trouble when I wasn't executing my pitches. This is something to build on."
The Pirates' No. 2 prospect, who doesn't have a record in six short-season appearances -- including five starts, was perfect in the first and third innings.
He worked into and out of trouble in the second. Patrick Murray flew out to start the inning and Harold Martinez walked and stole second base. Cody Asche then walked, and after Allie struck out Bob Stump, the 20-year-old hit Taylor Black to load the bases. He escaped unscored upon by getting Kyrell Hudson.
"I was just like, 'I need to throw strikes' and that helped me ease up a bit," Allie said. "It was a huge confidence booster for me."
The outing marked the first time the 52nd overall pick in the 2010 Draft has not allowed a run, and it lowered his ERA to 4.50. He has 20 strikeouts and 14 walks over 18 innings.
"I think I have adjusted to [pro baseball] all right," Allie said. "Other than two or three bad outings, I've been OK. I'm learning not to let one outing bother me, because I know I will have plenty more and that I'll be fine.
"I need to throw my change-up for strikes, especially to left-handers, and I need to throw more fastballs to them too. My change is a pitch that I'm very happy with because I command it much better."
The Ohio native has yet to pitch into the fifth inning in any of his six New York-Penn League games. He said he will likely be kept on a tight leash for the remainder of the year.
"It's going to be four innings, maybe five, for now, but my pitch count will stay at 65 and then go to 70 soon. We'll have to see."
State College's Ryan Hafner (0-2) pitched five innings to finish the game, but took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while collecting two strikeouts.
Austin Wright (2-0) earned the victory for Williamsport after yielding two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings. The left-hander struck out four batters.