Nolan Monaghan got a pitching promotion with the Feather River College baseball team and he knocked the opportunity out of the park.
The freshman left-hander tossed a season-high 5.2 innings and earned his first win as Feather River beat Butte 6-4 in the California Community College Athletic Association.
Monaghan, of Wasilla Post 35 fame and Alaska Baseball Academy alumni, fought off nerves by simplifying his approach on the mound.
“I just had to focus and compete,” he told me. “I felt comfortable; just kind of slowing my heart rate down by breathing and just slowing the game down to what I wanted it to be.”
Making just his second start in 11 appearances this season, the southpaw allowed six hits and two earned runs while matching his season high with four strikeouts.
“My curveball and changeup were my pitches today,” he said. “I was able to land them for strikes consistently when I needed them to.”
Monaghan was chased from the game with two outs in the sixth inning after allowing a bunt single. He watched the rest of the game from the dugout as his win hung on the hopes of the bullpen.
“I was kind of anxious because the conference is close right now and beating Butte was a big win for us,” he said.
Monaghan [1-2] lowered his season ERA to 5.40 in 18.1 innings.
However, he’s cut that number in half [2.16] over his last 8.1 innings.
“I’ve learned how to pitch instead of just throwing,” he said. “I like it here a lot. It’s a great environment to get better with great support from the town and my teammates. It’s a huge family.”
Credit: Van Williams