Wright, Puk Offer Star PowerColumns
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — No other weekend series in 2016 can match the collection of premium arms on display this weekend at McKethan Stadium. Friday featured a matchup between a pair of potential 2016 first-round picks in Vandy’s Jordan Sheffield and Florida’s Logan Shore. Saturday pitted two even likelier future first-rounders — the top prospect for this year’s draft (Florida lefty A.J. Puk) against one of the top prospects for 2017 (Vandy righthander Kyle Wright). And neither of them disappointed.
Puk reminded the horde of scouting directors and crosscheckers gathered behind the plate why he remains the frontrunner for the No. 1 overall pick by matching his season high with 11 strikeouts over six strong innings, allowing just one run on three hits and two walks. But Wright was even better, limiting the Gators to just three hits and two walks while striking out 10 in a 115-pitch complete-game shutout, leading the Commodores to a series-leveling 5-0 win. As good as Shore was in a complete game Friday and as solid as Sheffield and Puk were in defeat, Wright stole the show with the best performance of the weekend so far.
“You’ve got four really good arms that are probably going to pitch well beyond college, obviously, that negate offense,” Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. “There’s small windows of opportunity for either team. When balls don’t get put in play or you miss your chance, it kind of gets exploited. It’s tough baseball; it’s big-boy baseball.”
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