Brady House “Feeling good over at third base” amid strong defensive showing

Nationals 2021 First round selection Brady House tightens his glove during his first Blue Rocks home game. Tuesday, June 13, 2023. Staff Photographer / Joe Capuyan

The Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-32) hosted the Jersey Shore BlueClaws (31-28) Thursday following a blowout loss on Wednesday, which saw the BlueClaws tally 16 runs.

Thursday’s bout began with signs of a better fate for the Blue Rocks as they scratched the first run off the board in the first on an RBI groundout from Brady House, which scored leadoff hitter Jacob Young from third.

“It’s something I’ve done my whole life,” Young said on batting at the top of the lineup. “I know the job is just to find a way to get on base, get stuff going, and let the big bats behind me a chance to drive me in. So I’m very comfortable out there.”

Young would go on to score the second run of the game as well, this time on an RBI double from Jared McKenzie in the bottom of the third. The following batter, and Nationals fifth ranked prospect Brady House, traded places with McKenzie on a deep liner to centerfield.

via @WilmBlueRocks on Twitter

“I’m just trying to stay on a pitch that I like and kind of close my zone a little bit and just not budge at anything unless I liked it,” House said.

Paired with the early offensive production for Wilmington was the early authority starter Kyle Luckham had on the Jersey Shore hitters. Through three innings he had not surrendered a hit, but was tacked for a run in the fourth after a leadoff double by Gabriel Rincones Jr. and RBI single from Rixon Wingrove.

The Rocks would answer in the bottom half of the fourth after House walked with the bases loaded to tally his third RBI of the contest. 4-1 Blue Rocks through four innings.

Unfortunately, tides would turn in the top of the fifth inning, and luck for Luckham and the Blue Rocks waned hastily as the BlueClaws harnessed their offensive firepower from just the night before.

The top of the fifth saw six runs cross for Jersey Shore off the back of three walks, one triple, one sac fly, one passed ball, one wild pitch, three stolen bases and three singles – two of which came from the bat of Andrick Nava as the team batted around.

“You know its tough sometimes, they got some good at bats, we didn’t throw too many strikes,” Young said of the big inning. “And then as hitters we didn’t get enough guys on during that time to give the pitchers a break.”

Reliever Tyler Schoff was able to work out of the inning with some defensive help from House at third base on a diving stop and rocket to catcher Ivan Murzi to catch a runner attempting to score.

House was drafted as a shortstop but has adjusted to third base quickly. His arm is suitable for either position yet his 6’4″ 215lbs frame fits the profile of one Manny Machado, whom ultimately found his home at third base for the San Diego Padres. His flurry of defensive highlights on Wednesday preceded the inning-ending play on Thursday.

“I’m feeling good over at third base, I feel like I’m seeing the ball well. There’s still some things that need to be tweaked and worked on but we’re getting there,” House continued. “Getting longer with my lower body whenever I throw the ball, it helps. And command throwing the ball to first base.”

Schoff pitched a solid 2.2 innings for Wilmington, surrendering one run, two hits, but struck out six BlueClaws.

The six-run fifth inning was insurmountable for Wilmington, despite tallying a run in the eighth thanks to an RBI triple from TJ White to make the final score 8-5. White has five hits in his last eight plate appearances.

The Blue Rocks will look to even the series at two wins a piece on Friday, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m.

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