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Mid-teen pitchers making ABL mark

AAP logoAAP 25/11/2016 Adrian Warren

Two pitchers in their mid-teens are spearheading the arrival of new millennium talent in the Australian Baseball League.

Round one last weekend marked the emergence of 15-year-old right-handed Canberra Cavalry hurler Brodie Vassalakis, who officials believe may be the youngest player in the history of the competition.

Also making his ABL debut as a reliever was another player born in 2000, 16-year-old Adelaide Bite left-hander Jack O'Loughlin, who this weekend will become the youngest starting pitcher in the competition's history.

'We're happy to have (O'Loughlin) start a big game in front of a home crowd," Bite manager, Steve Mintz said.

O'Loughlin, who is already affiliated to MLB club Detroit Tigers, pitched three and two third innings against Sydney, conceding just one run and was credited with Adelaide's only win of the four-game series.

"What I've seen is he throws the ball over the plate and from left-handed pitchers that's what we're looking for; guys that can mix speed and change it up too," Mintz told the club website.

Vassalakis entered game two of his team's series against Brisbane in the seventh innings and made the kind of instant impact he wanted to avoid.

With bases loaded he baulked and allowed Brisbane to score a run.:

"The one thing I didn't want to do was do that, but it's out of the way now so I'll just forget about it and move on.." Vassalakis said.

He recovered from that setback and went on to pitch one and two third innings, conceding four hits and three runs.

He described his ABL debut as a great experience.

"That baulk is not going to happen again. That's something I'll learn from," Vassalakis said.on Strike Zone Australia.

"The nerves are all gone, so it's all confidence from here. There's only positives that can come from this."

Vassalakis only learnt of his promotion to the roster a couple of days before the series started and said he didn't know many of his teammates.

"I'm a 15 -year-old-kid, five foot ten, most of these guys are over six foot, it's kind of daunting." Vassalakis said.

Fellow ABL rookie O'Loughlin is a very different physical specimen whose stature of 196cms and 95 kgs belies his age.

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