Jeremy McGowan isn’t sure whether he’ll be a starter or back in the bullpen when he returns to Troy for his junior year. Over the past month, though, he has worked his way into becoming the El Dorado Broncos’ top pitcher.
McGowan gave up two hits in a 10-0 win over the Jasper (Ind.) Reds on Friday night in the Broncos’ opener in the National Baseball Congress World Series. He struck out six and faced 19 batters, one more than the minimum, in the six-inning run-rule game.
“I came in late (to the Broncos) because Troy was in a regional (at Florida State),” McGowan said. “… To begin with I was in the bullpen a lot, just trying to get some innings and get my arm stretched out to get ready to become a starter. These last four weeks, I’ve started one game a week to get ready for this.”
He gave up a first-inning hit to No. 2 batter Zach Deutsch, but retired the next eight batters before giving up a double to Deutsch in the fourth.
In the fourth and fifth innings, McGowan, who threw a total of 64 pitches, only threw one ball in each inning.
“He just pounds the strike zone,” Broncos manager Chad Gerwick said. “He goes right at guys. He’s probably our most competitive guy.… He always gets a lot of ground balls. He’s a fastball, slider, change guy, and just like anybody, when he has all three going, he’s effective.”
The Reds couldn’t get a fix on McGowan, and Broncos catcher David Parrett chalks that up to McGowan consistently hitting his spots.
“His stuff’s so good that when he’s hitting spots, it’s hard for hitters to stay balanced and get a good swing on the ball,” Parrett said. “You just want him to stay out of the heart of the plate, work the corners and make sure the hitters can’t get real good reads on balls.”
McGowan got an assist from the Broncos’ offense, which put up 10 hits, including two apiece from Christian Cox, Thomas Clay, Wade Stramp and Mikel Mucha. Taylor and Jason McMurray each had two RBIs, and Mucha had three.
Cox opened the Broncos’ hitting with a leadoff single in the first. Clay followed with a single and then stole his first of three bases. Two of Clay’s stolen bases came when Jasper tried to pick him off first.
The Broncos scored four in the first and then added four in the fourth when Taylor had a two-run double.
“I felt like our guys were ready to go,” Gerwick said. “We were aggressive in the zone, early in the count we put ourselves in great spots. We were able to run and able to do things that make us effective.”
The Broncos had two sacrifice flies and a sacrifice bunt, and Cox and Stramp each beat out bunts up the third-base line.
“We executed,” Gerwick said. “We struggled with some situational stuff through different parts of the summer. If we can do that situational hitting — move guys over, steal a base here or there — that’s when we’re at our best.”