Gausman impressive in three scoreless innings at Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, Md. - Kevin Gausman’s second pro outing didn’t last very long, but it was another good one for the Orioles’ 2012 first-round pick.

The right-hander out of LSU, taken with the fourth pick in the June draft, had retired all nine batters he faced on Monday at State College in his pro debut.

This afternoon, against the Connecticut Tigers, he gave up just one hit and retired nine of the 10 batters he faced with three scoreless innings on just 30 pitches.

He worked fast, threw first-pitch strikes to nine of his 10 batters and showed off a mid-90s fastball along with a nice changeup. And for good measure, he mixed in a few curveballs in his final inning.

Gausman gave up his first hit as a pro when Jake Stewart lined a single to right with one out in the first. The right-hander came back to get back-to-back first-pitch outs to the next two hitters and threw just eight pitches, six for strikes in the first.

In the second, he mixed in a few very nice changeups recorded at 84 mph here on the Ripken Stadium scoreboard to offset his fastball, which was clocked between 93-95 mph. He got a flyout and back-to-back called third strikes in a 14-pitch second frame.

In the third, he went groundout, swinging strikeout and ground out on just eight pitches. Third baseman Anthony Caronia made a nice play and throw from deep third base to get the inning’s final out.

We saw some of Gausman’s superstitions here today. Before his first warmup pitch of every inning, he hops in the air from the back slope of the mound, then runs to the pitching rubber and fires one to his catcher. Also, as he runs to the mound before each inning, he takes a leap over the first-base line.

I couldn’t see into the Aberdeen dugout to see if Gausman was eating any powdered donuts between innings, but was told he did that during that first start on Monday.

He has now pitched six shutout innings on just one hit through two games so far with no walks and five strikeouts. He has thrown a total of 61 pitches.

The Orioles’ plan is for him to pitch three innings every sixth day through the end of Aberdeen’s season on Sept. 5.

Hope you didn’t blink today here, or you would have missed a quick, impressive and very efficient second pro outing by Gausman.

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