Delmarva righthander Zach Clark is probably not a prospect. He was a non-drafted free agent in 2006 out of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and is 24 years old in low Class A.
All that aside, Clark was on in a big way Saturday night against low Class A Greensboro. Clark retired the first 13 hitters he faced, striking out three, before Grasshoppers right fielder Spike McDougall doubled on a line drive to right field that squirted out of the glove of a diving Brandon Tripp and spoiled the bid at a perfect game.
That didn’t throw Clark off, however, as he retired the next four in a row. A home run by left fielder John Raynor to lead off the bottom of the seventh would be the only other blemish on Clark’s impressive night. He exited in the top of the eighth with the lead. He finished with seven innings, one earned run on three hits and three strikeouts. He also did it throwing mostly well-located fastballs that sat at 90 mph and threw only 69 pitches, never more than 12 in an inning.
“That’s my strength, location and a little bit of movement,” Clark said. “Until guys show me they made an adjustment, then I’ll make an adjustment.”
Unfortunately for Clark, the bullpen couldn’t secure the lead and a couple of hits, wild pitch and bases loaded walk in the ninth gave the Grasshoppers the win.
First baseman Brandon Snyder did all he could to help Clark, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. He also made a couple of nice picks at first base, a position he seems to be getting comfortable with.