Two different righthanders, at two different levels, from two different Valley League teams… but almost the same results.

First of all, Thad Ward (Staunton 2016) threw a complete game shutout yesterday (7 innings- it was one game of a doubleheader) for Greenville, the Boston Red Sox’s Low-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He allowed only 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 6. Ward has been incredible this season so far; he’s 4-2, 2.20, with a 0.99 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 10.1 K/9 in 57 1/3 innings, and he now has a scoreless streak of 21 1/3 innings.

And then we have Payton Kinney (Waynesboro 2017), senior righthander for Nebraska-Omaha. In the Summit League tournament yesterday, Payton threw a very similar 7 1/3 shutout innings against Oral Roberts, while allowing 1 hit, 3 walks, and striking out 10 to send his team to their first ever League title, and into the College World Series (well, regional play, but still). Payton was named Championship MVP, and is now 11-1, 1.65, with a 0.97 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, and 8.5 K/9 in 109 innings pitched. He has also been named first team All-Summit League, and the Pitcher of the Year.

Congrats to both!