I was reading this article from UO’s Daily Emerald last week. It talks about coach George Horton’s shuffle of his pitching rotation, and as you might imagine, most of the story — written by Aubrey Wieber — discussed the impact of the rotation change, with quotes from players and coaches (Horton, Jake Reed, and Cole Irvin, specifically) peppered in. But the article took an unexpected turn at the end:
Irvin was modest, per usual, but did allude to some motivation to earn the Friday spot sooner rather than later. Irvin wants to take on the projected number one overall 2013 draft pick in Stanford pitcher Mark Appel.
“I pay attention to who is slated where and I want to see (Appel) pitch,” Irvin said. “I want to start against him.”
Unfortunately for Irvin, his wish wasn’t granted – Tommy Thorpe will face Appel in tonight’s opening game against the Cardinal.
It’s also unfortunate for Ducks’ followers because a motivated Irvin facing Stanford’s ace would’ve added even more drama to a game that’s been marked on Oregon’s calendar all season.
Still, Irvin’s desire to face Appel is a great sign from the freshman lefty. It’s obvious that Irvin has zero fear no matter whom he faces, based on how well he’s pitched this season, but to see him this jazzed about going up against one of the best pitchers in college baseball makes him even more impressive.
Stanford’s hitters might want to prepare extra hard for Saturday’s game because Irvin is going to be all sorts of mad that he couldn’t face Appel. Extra motivation for a pitcher this good could spell death for any lineup.