West Linn vs. Central Catholic (Coghill vs. Brakebush)
A matchup of two horses ready to go the distance. James Coghill was effective from the start showing a good fastball, complimented by a breaking ball that was mixed in to keep the Central Catholic hitters off-balance. He threw 6 innings, allowing only 5 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs (1 earned) to keep West Linn in the game until they were able to strike for 4 runs in the 5th to take the lead. I was extremely impressed with the performance and see a ton of potential in the big-bodied Coghill. Love the West Linn team this year from what I've seen.
Senior right-hander Jimmy Brakebush got the start for Central Catholic. He started off a bit shaky, struggling to consistently find the zone. He really needs to focus on following through with his delivery, there's a lot of recoil causing the inconsistency (he almost finishes upright after releasing the ball). I love Jimmy's arm and think there is huge upside, would love to see him work on his finish and see what results.
Brakebush settled down and held West Linn in check until the 5th, holding onto a 2-1 lead. Looked like he was getting squeezed a bit by the umpire, but it's always important to make adjustments when that starts happening. That's something out of his control. Jimmy did that and got what would have been an inning-ending groundout, but an error by shortstop Lucas Hunter allowed a run to score and the inning to continue. Senior shortstop Taylor Flores capitalized on the mistake with a bases clearing, 3-run double to right field to give West Linn the 5-2 lead that they wouldn't give up.
Flores replaced Coghill in the top of the 7th, pitching a 1-2-3 inning to shut down the Central Catholic offense for good.
Coghill was the story on the pitching side of things, battling for strong six innings to collect the win against a very solid Central Catholic team. I would love to see him continue to work with his secondary offerings to complement his good fastball. My former Linfield teammate Kevin Mills is doing a great job managing that West Linn program.
Brakebush got the loss in his complete game effort and threw much better than the score suggests, allowing only one earned run. With a couple tweaks I think he can be one of the top pitchers in the area. Central Catholic looks to bounce back in a 2011 State Championship rematch with Westview on Thursday over at Concordia University.
Final Score: West Linn 5, Central Catholic 2