Hutchinson leads first-place White Sox

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2003

If you were to examine the reason the Dixie Minor White Sox are off their 3-0 start, you wouldn't have to look much further than their starting pitcher.

Blake Hutchinson started the season off with a golden arm and has not cooled off since. He polished the Red Sox with a 12-strikeout performance in a no-hitter on Opening Day. The White Sox won that game 17-0 and Hutchinson went two-for-two at the plate with one walk added in.

He followed that performance with a 16-strikeout game against the Rangers as the White Sox squeaked out a 4-3 win. Thursday, he pitched four innings against the Mets as the White Sox won 16-5. He struck out twelve in that game.

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The secret to Hutchinson's success is simple. He works hard.

"I pitch every day," he said. "I have a batting cage in my back yard and I go there every day."

His work ethic has even earned him a nickname. Some of his family call him, "Hoss," the name he wears on the stitching of his baseball cap.

Hutchinson, 10, has been pitching for two seasons. He went with a traveling team last season and pulled off a couple of wins in tournament play as a 9-year-old.

"I pitched a lot (in the tournament," Hutchinson said. "When we played Geneva, I pitched the whole game and we won 8-4."

Hutchinson has been exposed to a good bit of professional teaching so far in his young life. His neighbor is Ron Pierce, who runs the MVP Training Center on Butter and Egg Road. He has also learned some technique from Charles Henderson baseball coach Steve Garrett.

"They taught me a lot, but so did they," Hutchinson said, pointing to head coach Randy Hutchinson (also known as "Dad" around the house) and Mike Taylor.

Hutchinson has two pitches he likes. He has a two-seam and a four-seam fastball.

Taylor said the two-seamer is the best pitch he has.

"It moves a little," Taylor said.

Hutchinson called the pitch his "Uncle Charlie" pitch because he can make it tail off a little when he throws it.

"He calls it that because that's what they call it in the book," Randy said.