NOTE: Three 2013 Hernando County graduates, Hernando High’s Christian Arroyo (San Francisco Giants) and Brandon Lawson (Tampa Bay Rays), and Springstead’s Brandon Brosher (New York Mets), are currently playing professional baseball, working their way up through the minor leagues within their respective organizations. Hernando Sun will track their progress weekly throughout the next few months.
For the first time in his professional career, Brandon Lawson toed the rubber as a starting pitcher, making two starts this past week for the Advanced Single-A Charlotte Stone Crabs.
The USF alum had made 43 previous appearances over the past two seasons out of the bullpen, until Monday against the Jupiter Hammerheads. The right-hander took a hard-luck 1-0 loss, despite giving up just the one earned run over five innings on four hits and no walks, striking out one. He threw a career-high 68 pitches, 44 of them for strikes.
On Saturday, Lawson earned the win as the Stone Crabs upended the Palm Beach Cardinals, 5-2. He tossed six shutout innings, permitting only two hits and a walk, fanning four batters. This time his pitch count reached 65, with 41 strikes. Out of 21 batters faced, he retired 11 by groundout.
Lawson had pitched in 27 games out of the bullpen for the Stone Crabs this season, going 2-2 with four saves, compiling a 5.36 earned run average. But in the two starts, he’s 1-1 with a 0.82 ERA.
Overall, Lawson is 3-3 this year, having lowered his ERA nearly a run to 4.42. He has 35 strikeouts over 53 innings.
Brandon Brosher did not get into a game this last week for the Single-A Columbia Fireflies until serving as the designated hitter in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over the Kannapolis Intimidators.
In that contest, the right-handed slugger went 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s now batting .217 with seven home runs, 15 runs batted in and 17 runs scored over 40 games this season.
Christian Arroyo remains on the 7-day disabled list for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, where he has been since July 3 with a fractured left hand. He’s projected to be out until at least September. The 2013 first-round pick has played in 24 games for the River Cats, hitting .400 with four home runs, 16 RBI and 18 runs scored.
Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.