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Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes hits 102 mph in spring training debut

Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: Feb. 28, 2024
Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: Feb. 28, 2024 16:34

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes flashed his potential in his spring training debut on Thursday.

In his first action in a Pirates uniform in spring training, Skenes notched a 1-2-3 first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida. He hit 102 miles per hour on the radar gun with one of his 10 pitches on the day, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Skenes reportedly threw four pitches over 100 mph on the day. 

Skenes and the Pirates faced Jackson Holiday and the Orioles. Holiday was the first overall pick in the 2022 draft, while Skenes was the first overall pick in 2023. In their lone faceoff, Skenes got Holiday to ground out to second baseman Nick Gonzales. 

Skenes also faced the Orioles' Adley Rutschman, who hit 20 home runs and tallied 80 RBIs on his way to an All-Star appearance last season. He induced a Rutschman fly out to right fielder Edward Olivares.

Skenes, who signed a contract that included a record $9.2 million signing bonus, closed the first inning by getting Heston Kjerstad to fly out to left fielder Canaan Smith-Njigba. In the end, Baltimore won the game 9-8.

"I'm glad it's quick innings," Skenes said after the game. "But I wish it were more, for sure."

Skenes was drafted out of LSU following an illustrious career as a Tiger. He posted a record of 13-2 en route to winning the 2023 College World Series.

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