DURHAM — The best baseball players from across the state who participated in the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League this season were chosen to play in a showcase event on Tuesday night at Jack Coombs Field.
The players were distributed randomly onto two different teams – the American and National teams. The Nationals held on to win the contest, 5-4.
The East Wake duo of Paschal Ammons and Austin Dickens, who took part in the Senior game, were supposed to be playing on the same team but were split up at the last minute when the National team needed an extra catcher and pulled Dickens over.
Briefly: Ammons, listed as a pitcher for the game, had a quality at bat in his first plate appearance in the third inning, but struck out swinging.
After giving up a leadoff double, Ammons was able to strike out three batters in a scoreless seventh.
On his pitching performance: “I was really impressed with the way I was throwing tonight,” Ammons said. “I topped out at 85 (mph), which was the fastest I’ve ever thrown. I hung that one curveball that got crushed, but was able to settle in and battled back.”
On facing Dickens: “I was going to throw him fastballs regardless,” Ammons said. “I was trying to give him a chance to hit and I guess he just couldn’t get around on it. Like I said, I’ve never thrown that hard before.”
Briefly: Dickens started for the National team in the No. 2 spot in the lineup and platooned at catcher every other inning.
After a six-pitch at bat, he was hit by a pitch. The rising senior didn’t disappoint in his second at bat, pulling an inside pitch into left field for a two-RBI double.
The only time Dickens didn’t reach base in the game was during his third plate appearance, when Ammons was on the mound.
On his performance: “I felt like I was already adjusted to the turf, so it was a lot easier,” said Dickens, who played at Duke two weeks ago in a showcase tournament. “This game was great because I didn’t have any pressure on me. I think I played pretty well and showed what I can do at the plate especially.”
On facing Ammons: “It was kind of weird,” Dickens said, smiling. “I thought I was going to be catching for him and instead I had to face him in the last inning. He just got the better of me this time. I’m not going to hear the end of that one.”
Smith: 919-829-4841; @RCorySmith