East County Sports

El Cap’s Ginkel stars at NCAA World Series

 

OMAHA – Arizona’s loss Tuesday night in Game 2 of the College World Series best-of-three finals was no fault of starting pitcher Kevin Ginkel.

The junior right-hander from Lakeside lasted seven innings — his second-longest outing at U of A — and recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts while allowing only five hits and one earned run.

Ginkel left the game to hugs all around in the dugout with the score tied 2-2 and after throwing 101 pitches (66 for strikes). But in the inning after he sat down, Coastal Carolina struck for three runs in the top of the eighth on five hits and hung on for a 5-4.

“I’m happy with how I did tonight,” said Ginkel, a graduate of El Capitan High. “But, I’m not happy that we lost.”

Arizona coach Jay Johnson had nothing but praise for Ginkel.

“He was spectacular,” Johnson said. “He gave us everything he could and everything we needed.

“That’s a great team, with 54 wins and their offense. There is just no break in it. There is good balance — left-handed and right-handed, speed, power, solid hitting skills throughout.”

Ginkel said he concentrated on his fastball the first time through the lineup. The 6-foot-5, 213-pounder consistently reached 92 mph to 94 mph on the radar gun.

“Once I got through the lineup once, I went to my slider,” he said. “I had really good command of that. They couldn’t really barrel anything up. That gave me a chance to go deeper into the game.”

Only in the third inning did Coastal Carolina get to Ginkel, scoring two runs with the aid of a two-base error when star shortstop Louis Boyd misplayed a towering pop fly.

“We got a little unlucky on that one play giving them two runs in the third,” Johnson said. “Other than that, Kevin was stellar. People saw tonight why he’s been drafted three times.”

Ginkel was picked in the 16th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2014, in the 26th by the Boston Red Sox in 2015 and in the 22nd by the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this month. He plans to sign this summer.

Coastal Carolina coach Gary Gilmore was impressed.

“Ginkel pretty much handled us most of the time,” Gilmore said. “He was really good.”

Ginkel hit 101 pitches through seven innings with the game tied. With Arizona as the home team and relief ace Cameron Ming warmed up, Johnson decided to change pitchers. But Ming gave up three runs and retired just one batter.

“It was the fourth time around in the order,” Johnson said. “I felt like we wanted to go to (Ming). I just didn’t think he was quite as sharp.”

Ginkel posted a 4-1 record, a 2.82 ERA and 3 saves during the regular season.

Ginkel also performed at his best in the final rung of the NCAA regional tournament, picking up the save as the Wildcats forced a final game, then logged a 5 1/3-inning start later that day.

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