DURHAM — A fifth-inning grand slam by Cavan Biggio on Tuesday night was not enough for the 18U Stripes as their game with the Collegiate National Stars ended in a 6-6 tie at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The showdown between N.C. State freshman pitcher Carlos Rodon and freshman infielder Trea Turner also ended in a tie. Turner drew a leadoff walk off Rodon in the first inning, but the Holly Springs pitcher forced Turner to ground out in the second inning.
Rodon said he felt like he needed to improve from his last outing but wasnt able to get the pitches he wanted to for the Stripes.
I felt like I had some stuff to work on tonight; the last outing was a little rough, Rodon said. But it didnt really work out for me.
This outing doesnt mean as much for me as my next one against Cuba, so Im already past this and Im looking forward to pitching against another high-caliber team.
Rodon had trouble with his control through three innings, giving up four runs on five hits, a wild pitch and a balk. Turner scored after his first-inning walk but finished 0-for-4 at the plate.
Turners walk in the first inning was followed by another walk by Arizonas Johnny Field. After both players advanced on a double steal, Oregon State designated hitter Michael Conforto drove a pitch back up the middle to score both runners, giving the Stars a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
Rodon struck out the side in the first but was touched up again in the third for two runs. After Conforto drove in Field on a double, Austin Cousino singled in Kris Bryant to put the Stars up 4-0.
Though he was pitching at DBAP, a field that he went to when he was a child, Rodon said it wasnt pressure that caused his inconsistency.
I dont really feel pressure when Im pitching, no matter where I am, Rodon said. Ive played here before, and it was a nice crowd. So I cant blame anything on that.
The Stripes broke through in the fifth inning when Riley Unroe walked with the bases loaded to put the first run on the board. Biggio then unloaded on a pitch that landed in the right field seats to give the Stripes their first lead of the Prospect Classic, 5-4.
Biggio said his eyes lit up when he saw a fastball just off of the corner of the plate.
He got it down and kind of away, and I just put a good swing on it, Biggio said. It was more of a pitchers pitch on the outside corner, but I got good lift and was able put our team up.
The Stripes added another run in the sixth, but the Stars tacked on runs in the seventh and eighth to knot the score at six. UCLAs David Berg and high school player Connor Heady shut the door for both teams in the ninth.
The Collegiate National team travels to Miami on Wednesday morning, and the 18U squad heads home before starting its tour.