“It’s just about throwing strikes and making pitches when I had too,” said Wade LeBlanc.
LeBlanc has two different changeups that he is able to throw from the same arm angle with the same speed, a 12-6 curveball and fastball that he can seemingly place wherever he wants.
“If I think the batter isn’t going to swing I usually throw the harder changeup, if I think he is going to swing I throw the real slow one,” LeBlanc added. “My game is all about throwing pitches the batter doesn’t expect.”
After giving up a run in the first inning, LeBlanc tied a season-high 10 strikeouts over seven innings against only one walk and three hits.
“Guys try to guess with him, which is why you see him blowing away guys with his fastball,” said Missions manager Randy Ready.
The Mission continued their hitting from the nightcap of last nights’ doubleheader, erupting for 14 hits. Every Missions batter reached base and utility man Brett Dowdy and right fielder Will Venable each had three hits with Venable driving in three runs. The former Princeton hoops star has seen his slugging percentage rise in the second half from .343 to .419.
The Missions scored in six of the eight innings of the game by consistently putting pressure on Corpus Christi throughout the game. Despite drawing only four base-on-balls the Padres’ farmhands were able to implement their organizational philosophy of waiting for your pitch, as San Antonio batters consistently forced Hooks’ pitchers to work deep into the count.
“We got the count in our favor tonight and we did some damage with it. Pitch selection is the key to every successful hitter and we squared up a lot of baseballs,” said Ready.’ ‘We kept the line moving and that is what had been missing the past few days.”