Billy Spottiswood, RailCats win duel
By Ryan Haskell Post-Tribune correspondent July 23, 2013 11:28PM
Scott M Bort/Post-Tribune Gary RailCats Media Day Mugs RC TAGERT GREG 2 050610.jpg PTSPT
Updated: August 25, 2013 6:40AM
GARY — He may not have the experience a typical starting pitcher has, but the RailCats’ Billy Spottiswood sure looked like a veteran on the hill Tuesday night against Sioux City.
Spottiswood picthed seven shutout innings, giving up eight hits and striking out two as Gary won its third straight, 1-0, at the Steel Yard in front of 2,474 in attendance.
The RailCats’ right-handed hurler joined the team on June 14 and is 3-1 in seven starts. He had three professional starts prior to joining the RailCats (37-26).
“I haven’t been a starter consistently since college,” said Spottiswood, who was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 25th round of the 2007 draft out of Chico State. “I’m starting to feel a lot better about being a starter. I talked to Q (Alain Qujano) about a couple of things that he does (to prepare for a start). I didn’t know what time I was supposed to be out there to get ready. I have a routine now.”
Spottiswood took a little time to adjust to his starting role, giving up five runs in three straight starts at one point. But he gave up one run in his previous start against Lincoln before his gem on Tuesday night against the Explorers (24-39).
It didn’t start smooth, though.
Spottiswood got into a jam to start the game, giving up back-to-back singles to Eliezer Mesa and Leugim Barroso. But the former Diamondbacks prospect retired the next 10 straight and was never really threatened until he put two runners on base in the seventh inning.
RailCats manager Greg Tagert said Spottiswood fits in perfectly with his teammates and that’s what’s made him so effective.
“Billy is starting to grow as a starting pitcher,” he said. “His experience helps in this capacity. He’s really getting a feeling for it. His preparation in the bullpen is different and just that development continues. He’s tough to take out of the game because he’s such a competitor.
“It doesn’t matter if his grandmother was at the plate he’s a competitor and he fits in with this group of guys who like to compete.”
Cristian Guerrero, who was moved from the sixth spot to the third spot for Tuesday’s game, also showed some competitive fire, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and the game’s only RBI in the third inning. Guerrero was batting .215 prior to the game.
“The most important thing is hopefully he’s not losing any confidence,” Tagert said.
“I know he wants to do well and it’s been a tough couple of weeks. He puts the club on his shoulders.
“We need that Cristian Guerrero we had the past couple of years.”