Georgia Southern entered the year with high hopes. After all, the Eagles had two first-team All-Americans in outfielder Victor Roache and righthander Chris Beck. But ever since Roache injured his wrist, the team is 2-5 and that includes two losses by Beck. Last week, he gave up seven runs against North Florida. Friday night against Elon, Beck—ranked No. 7 on BA's preseason Top 100 draft prospects—was better but definitely did not look like one of the top pitchers in the country.
With about 15 scouts on hand, including several crosscheckers and a pair of scouting directors, Beck sat at 90-91 mph for the first few innings, touching 93 once (his first pitch of the game). Later in the game, his fastball dropped to the 88-90 mph range. The pitch didn't haven much movement, either—occasionally he got a little run and sink, but overall it was pretty true. Beck mostly pitched away from hitters and one scout said he gets under his pitches, which leads to the fastball being straight and the inconsistency with Beck's 83-85 mph slider. Beck's best pitch of the night was his 80-81 mph changeup that showed good fade.
Beck gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits over eight innings. He walked three and struck out eight. He threw 123 pitches, 82 of which went for strikes. Even without his best stuff on the night, Beck showed a bulldog mentality on the mound. He was battling hard throughout the game, but the wind came out of his sail a little when Elon second baseman Sebastian Gomez hit a two-run, go-ahead home run with two outs in the seventh inning. In the final two frames, only 12 of Beck's 40 pitches were fastballs and his tempo slowed down.
Elon won the game 4-2, giving Beck his second loss of the season. On the year, he's now 1-2, 4.33 with six walks and 26 strikeouts over 27 innings.
"The thing about Chris is, he's a competitor," Georgia Southern head coach Rodney Hennon said. "He just made a couple mistakes that got him tonight. But we had plenty of opportunities to win today and we just need to do a better job of executing."
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