Cade Cavalli is pitching like he feels right at home with the Blue Rocks, but at this rate he may be needing to pack his bags sooner than later.
It's the third straight outing with at least 11 punchouts for the top-ranked Nationals prospect who has recorded double-digit whiffs in four of his seven starts this season. Saturday also marked the fourth appearance without allowing a run for last year's No. 22 overall Draft pick.
Despite allowing three BlueClaws player to reach base, not a single Jersey Shore player made it into scoring position while Cavalli was on the hill. After yielding a leadoff walk to Hunter Markwardt in the opening frame, the right-hander whiffed the side on 12 pitches to begin a stretch of retiring 12 straight batters.
The only other blemishes for Cavalli on his otherwise polished line were a hit batsman to lead off the fifth and a seven-pitch walk to Jose Tortolero to lead off the sixth. Still, the 22-year-old recorded at least one punchout in every inning he was on the bump and struck out the side in the first, third and fifth. In his final frame, Cavalli coaxed Jhailyn Ortizinto into a groundout to first before whiffing D.J. Stewart and Hunter Hearn. He was pulled after tossing 97 pitches -- 67 were strikes.
The stellar effort lowered Cavalli's ERA to a remarkable 1.77 and WHIP to 0.89. The Oklahoma product has amassed 71 strikeouts and just 12 walks over 40 2/3 innings pitched this season. He is also sporting a .171 average against.