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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette TinCaps’ Joey Cantillo pitches the ball during the first inning against the Lugnuts at Parkview Field on Thursday night.

Thursday, May 16, 2019 11:30 pm

Great night for TinCaps' Cantillo

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

You know you’ve had a good night on the mound when you can lament the one solitary hit you gave up. And that was the case with the TinCaps’ Joey Cantillo, who was marvelous in the 9-0 six-inning victory over the Lansing Lugnuts tonight at Parkview Field.

Before Mother Nature interceded, Cantillo had six strikeout and zero walks.

Part of his success against the Lugnuts involved dizzying their batters with his three different pitches – the four-seam fastball, a “vulcan/split” changeup and a curveball – and also going low and high in the strike zone.

“That’s what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to move your fastball around,” Cantillo said. “And with my fastball up in the zone, that’s where it plays. So it’s getting it up there. That one base hit, it was down and I’m hard on myself with that; I hate missing down with those two-strike fastballs. So that was big. Getting those fastballs up and having the changeup and curveball work, though, that was huge.”

The TinCaps’ offense racked up 13 hits. Jawuan Harris had a two-run ground-ball single to left field in the second inning. Luis Almanzar had a line-drive triple that brought in two runs in the third. And Justin Lopez's sixth-inning triple also brought in two runs.

But Cantillo was money.

“The ability to get ahead early (was there for him), and the changeup was working while the occasional curveball was keeping them offset. Being able to keep their eye level going up and down was pretty much the story of the night for him,” TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras said. “He was aggressive in the zone, filling up the zone. (Catcher) Blake Hunt and him worked really well together tonight.”

Cantillo, 19, the youngest pitcher in the Midwest League – one day younger than teammate Ryan Weathers – was a 16th-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2017.

“He has the ability to do that more times than not,” Contreras said of Thursday’s performance. “He stays within himself and is a very, very good pitcher and he can do some special things if he stays locked in like he was tonight.”