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GreenJackets' Mazza tosses 82-pitch shutout

Giants southpaw retires 22 in a row to record third complete game
Domenic Mazza has thrown three complete games in 13 starts in the South Atlantic League this year. (Chris Baird)
July 2, 2017

Domenic Mazza's Greg Maddux impression is getting better. The left-handed Giants prospect allowed two hits without a walk while striking out five over nine innings to record his third complete game and second shutout of the season as Class A Augusta routed Charleston, 11-0, on Sunday.

Domenic Mazza's Greg Maddux impression is getting better. 
The left-handed Giants prospect allowed two hits without a walk while striking out five over nine innings to record his third complete game and second shutout of the season as Class A Augusta routed Charleston, 11-0, on Sunday.

"[Saturday], it was clear that Charleston had a plan at the plate. So [Augusta pitching coach] Clay Rapada, [catcher] Skyler Ewing and I came up with a strategy to counter that. The fact that I was able to go out there and execute it is what I'm most proud of."

Mazza (5-6) threw the South Atlantic League's first nine-inning perfect game on April 26.
"I go out there and hope to go nine innings every time. I know the majority of the times I don't, but that's still my gameplan," the California native said.
After working around Diego Castillo's one-out double in the first inning, Mazza allowed another two-bagger with two outs by Carlos Vidal in the second. The 22-year-old escaped the inning by getting Ryan Lidge to fly out to center field.
From there, the 2015 22nd-round pick began to roll. Mazza retired the next 19 batters he faced and posted six consecutive 1-2-3 innings to give him the chance at another shutout. 
"I knew I was having some quick innings and stuff. It was hot out there today, so I was just trying to get my defense back to the dugout so they could rest up and put some runs on the board," he said.
Gameday box score
With his pitch count at 73 and the GreenJackets up by 11 runs, Mazza knew the ninth inning was his to lose. The 22-year-old just focused on hitting his spots, and he needed just nine pitches to finish off the gem.
"I was just going out there and just trying to stick to the gameplan," Mazza said. "I was using the changeup, slider and a curveball to get out of jams. When there was nobody on base, I was attacking them and mixing in and out and that kept them off balance."
The southpaw didn't face a three-ball count the entire game and worked two innings without utilizing more than seven pitches. 

"I rely heavily on my command, my ability to move the ball to both sides of the plate and mixing up speeds has been the key for me," he said. "I've been pounding the strike zone and letting the hitters put the ball in play."
Mazza sports a 3.11 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 13 starts for Augusta this season. The UC Santa Barbara product has worked at least seven innings in four of his last five starts. The three complete games are tied for tops in the Minors with Class A Lansing's Justin Maese and Triple-A Columbus' Shawn Morimando.
"I've always felt like I've had good command, but before turning pro, I felt I would pitch around guys too much," he said. "Since I've turned pro, I've become better about pounding the zone, but I'm still trying to improve every day by making pitches sharper and more precise. Every time I'm playing catch, I make sure I'm working on something."
Augusta center fielder Ashford Fulmer went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs. Ewing also added a pair for doubles for the GreenJackets.

Michael Leboff is a contributor to MiLB.com.