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From Brendan Schweigart

Former LCAA star Van Scoter off to impressive start to professional career with Seattle Mariners organization

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Seattle Mariners draft pick Reid VanScoter recently threw a no-hitter in a minor league game through four innings. He leads his team in ERA and WHIP and was named Northwest League’s Pitcher of the Week. (photo provided)

By Chris Metcalf for HornellSun.com

EVERETT, WA. – Back in 2017, Reid VanScoter made national headlines for pitching a no-hitter with 21 strikeouts in Livonia’s Section V Class B championship game victory over Hornell.

Two weeks later VanScoter and the Bulldogs hoisted up the program’s first NYS title.

Arguably the greatest pitcher in Livingston County history, the left-hander went on to play college at D-I Binghamton and Coastal Carolina, the later of which he earned CC’s first-ever Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year honors.

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He was selected in the fifth round of the MLB Draft (156th overall) by the Seattle Mariners.

And, so far, things have been going outstanding for VanScoter, who has started out with three impressive outings for the Everett Aqua Sox, of the High A Affiliate.

As a starter, the 24-year-old has gone 2-0 with with a mere 1.13 earned run average. He has allowed just six hits and has struck out 16 batters while walking six.

His most recent start, a 7-3 victory over Vancouver, had VanScoter tossing a no-hitter through four innings. He finished with six strong innings allowing just one hit with seven strikeouts.

VanScoter currently leads the team in ERA (1.13) and WHIP (0.75).

“My first few starts have all been about getting used to my new arsenal on the mound,” VanScoter said. “I’ve changed a lot since last year in college ball. I used to throw a two-seam, a four-seam, a slider – that was more of a source – and a change-up. Now I throw a sinker, cutter (instead of a four-seam), a sweeping slider, a curve ball, and a change-up with a different grip. So it’s all been about throwing my new pitches and keeping hitters off balance as much as I can. I guess I’ve just gotten a little bit better with them as I’ve gone so far. I still have a lot more room to grow.”

Since an early age, VanScoter has always been in command of his pitches. He finished his high school career with an incredible 31-1 record with his only loss coming in the NYS quarterfinals as a junior by a 1-0 score against Fredonia. That run scored was unearned.

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In 32 high school games, he posted 396 strikeouts and had an ERA at 0.40. He was named the 2017 NYS Class B Player of the Year.

After spending two successful seasons at Binghamton, VanScoter transferred south to play at Coastal Carolina, where his two seasons on the hill were nothing short of magnificent earning numerous post-season honors including the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year.

He graduated last May with his bachelor’s degree in communications.

His outing against Vancouver started off a bit bumpy but after he stayed focused , and eventually got back on track quickly.

“This past outing I had trouble locating the first couple innings, so I was obviously trying to figure my ‘feel’ out for that day at first,” VanScoter said. “My goals were to just get through them with no damage done. After the first two innings I found more feel and I could take back control of trying to get swing and miss. From then on I just focused on trying to get weak contact and keeping hitters off balance – one pitch at a time – for as long as I could.”

For his efforts he was named the Northwest League’s Pitcher of the Week.

“It was very cool to see that I got Pitcher of The Week,” Reid said. “I honestly don’t have much to say about it. I did my job statistically, but I know there’s a lot more improvements I can make that help me long-term. I am grateful for the acknowledgment, but my mind is already onto the next game and what I can improve on.”

That start comes tonight as he will be on the bump Friday night as the Aqua Sox (10-7) visit the Spokane Indians (7-8).

“My mindset moving forward is to keep improving,” VanScoter said. “There’s a lot I can be better at like dominating first pitch strikes, winning my 1-1 counts, and not wasting as many of my two-strike pitches by missing a little more than I should be. It’s a much longer season than I’ve ever played in before, so it’s all about the little things over the course of a full season that ultimately help you complete your goals.”

Reid has really enjoyed playing in and around the state of Washington.

“The Northwest is a beautiful area that I am blessed to be able to experience,” he said. “The scenery of Washington and Oregon have been amazing, and it’s fun to take in new experiences as baseball has taken me to most places I’ve been. Everett is about 30 minutes north of Seattle, so it’s cool to be close to what your organization calls ‘home’ as I see lots of people out and about wearing Seattle Mariners gear. It’s another small token of appreciation I have in my mind for what I am accomplishing. It is a lot different being on the inside now, but it’s been a beautiful journey and I greatly appreciate everyone who follows along with me.”

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