Railroader ace White has more bullets in pitching duel vs. Hayes, UC

Railroader ace White has more bullets in pitching duel vs. Hayes, UC
Railroader ace White has more bullets in pitching duel vs. Hayes, UC

Union City’s Drew Hayes prepares to throw to the plate during the Greyhounds’ 2-0 loss Friday to the Fulton Railroaders.
Cory White’s baseball stock continues to soar.
Selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 44th round of the recent major league draft, the former South Fulton prep standout allowed just one hit over 72/3 innings and outdueled Vanderbilt product Drew Hayes in pitching Fulton past Union City 2-0 in Kitty League Baseball Friday night at Elam Stadium.
White, who lowered his already minuscule earned run average to 0.61 in four starts, fanned seven and did not walk a batter in dominating an overmatched Greyhound lineup that managed to hit just two balls to the outfield.
The Railroader ace was lifted after a 45-minute rain delay with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Clay Tingley came on in relief after the weather-induced interruption and allowed a single to Nate Coleman and hit Jon Ivie before fanning four straight to preserve White’s second win in three decisions.
Hayes, the ex-McKenzie schoolboy star who led McKenzie to the 2006 Class A state title, left with two outs in the sixth after early control issues led to a high pitch count.
He was charged with both Fulton runs — though the one in the first was unearned — surrendering five hits and three walks while fanning five.
Hayes’ margin for error proved to be small because of White’s dominance.
With now two seasons of college experience under his belt at Rend Lake Community College and a decision to make on whether to continue as an amateur or sign with the Indians, White has been nearly untouchable in his second Kitty League season with the Railroaders.
The hard-throwing righthander, who mixes a curveball and a change-up with his fastball that has been clocked in the 90s, has given up just two earned runs in 292/3 innings this season for Fulton. He has struck out 34 hitters, walked but six and allowed just 13 total hits — 11 of those singles.
White consistently pounded the strikezone early in the count Friday against the overwhelmed Greyhounds.
“Getting ahead (of hitters) is always my goal,” he said afterward. “Since I went to college, that’s the first thing that they stress to you is to get up on the batters and hit your spots.”
White claimed to be unaware beforehand that he was matched against Hayes in a marquee pitching duel, saying, “I just pitched like I always do. I didn’t even really know who he was until some of the guys told me.”
He also acknowledged the precaution head coach David Estes took when electing not to put him back on the hill following the long rain delay, despite the fact the he was in control.
“I’m 20 years old and I’ve not had any arm problems before and I surely don’t want any now,” White claimed. “I know how to take care of myself, but I’m sure coach would feel bad if something happened to my arm under his watch.
“I was fine, but it was the right thing to do to take me out.”
The Railroaders essentially got White the only run he’d need in the first, loading the bases on a pair of Hayes’ walks and an error on shortstop Justin Miller, who dropped a throw from Hayes at second after the Greyhound hurler had fielded a comebacker and looked to start an inning-ending doubleplay.
Instead, the bases were loaded and Eric Parker lofted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Hunter Dawson for a 1-0 Fulton lead.
The Railroaders got their other run in the sixth when they chased Hayes as Cory McCullick’s two-out single plated Louis Haseltine, who’d doubled with one away.
White has until Aug. 25 to declare his intentions for the immediate future.
He says he has been in touch with an Indians representative and expects the organization to watch him pitch a couple of times before then. He plans to make his decision based on the amount of money he is offered and says he will likely pitch next spring at either the University of Indianapolis or Delta State if he opts not to turn pro.
“I have some options. I’ll talk to a couple of people I trust after I hear what the Indians I have to say, and I’ll make my decision then,” he said.
“I’m really not sure right now which way I’ll go.”
Fulton 6, Union City 1
The Railroaders (13-9) took the rubber game of the three-game series on Saturday as the UC offense struggled for the second consecutive night.
Union City (10-12) managed but six scattered hits and one run against Fulton starter Kyle Barnett and reliever Jimmy Ryan. Justin Miller had a pair of doubles and scored the ’Hounds’ lone run in the sixth on Cam Strang’s RBI single.
Haseltine drove in three runs for the Railroaders and Lee Kibrell had a pair of hits for the victors.
Ace Williams, who left the game in the top of the second as a precautionary measure, was charged with the pitching loss.
UC begins a three-game set with the Farmington Tuesday at Elam Stadium. Tonight’s game has been postponed.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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