By Ben Strober
The Cape Cod Baseball League announced today that Smith Pinson earned honors as the league’s Pitcher of the Week.
“It’s pretty special,” Pinson said. “I don’t think about it too much. Just went out there and tried to do what we’ve been doing.”
Pinson pitched just once in the week, but his dominance left the league no choice but to honor his magnificence. Pinson turned in a season-high six innings of scoreless baseball in YD’s 4-0 win over the Bourne Braves.
“This is extremely well deserved,” pitching coach John Raiola said. “Smith is somebody who’s very routine-oriented, and he always does what he needs to do in order to be successful.”
Raiola said that Pinson’s work and preparation he puts in every day helped him grow into one the top pitchers on The Cape.
“I’ve been trying to work on pitching multiple ways through lineups,” Pinson said. “First time through the lineup, we use different pitches, and that sets up my better stuff for the second time through.”
Pinson’s six innings marks just the second-career time he’s thrown that amount in a game, with the other time being his second-ever collegiate appearance.
Pinson was nearly perfect in his outing, allowing just two weak singles, striking out seven, and most importantly, not issuing free passes.
“He’s one of the smartest pitchers that I’ve ever coached in my 15 years doing this,” Raiola said. “It doesn’t surprise me that with all the hard work he puts in, he goes out and gets the results he did.“
Pinson’s pinpoint control drives his early season success on The Cape. In three starts, Pinson’s strikeout-to-walk ratio sits at 17-4. That plate control boasts Pinson’s WHIP to an astonishing 0.93 and 2.40 ERA.
“He throws six pitches, and he’s got real command and control of all of them,” Raiola said. “He’s someone who gets by with two or three pitches if he has to, but if he has all six of them working, it’s extremely tough to hit him.”
Pinson’s 6’8 stature might indicate to some that he’d be a flamethrower. However, his pitching style is no resemblance to that. Pinson’s game is to control the zone with precise location and force hitters into weak contact.
Pinson enters his third year at Kennesaw State this fall and aims to build on an impressive first two seasons. In his collegiate career, Pinson’s 115 strikeouts stand well above his 20 walks.
Additionally, his 2.27 ERA in 2023 led his Owl squad.
“He can throw any pitch at any time, and that’s going to help a lot when he goes back to school,” Raiola said. “This is what this is all about; coming to show what you can do, but also get better for school.”
Kennesaw State head coach Ryan Coe trekked to South Yarmouth to watch Pinson and his teammate Blake Aita compete against the nation’s best. Pinson made it worth his while in that masterclass against Bourne.
“This is a little bigger than the Atlantic Sun, so coming here to compete in The Cape means a lot to me,” Pinson said.
Coe inherited Pinson as a recruit when he took the job in Kennesaw in 2021. Although he wasn’t someone he scouted years prior, Coe’s extremely grateful Pinson fell in his direction.
Coe admires Pinson’s ability to throw as many as six pitches, something most pitchers can’t do.
As Yarmouth-Dennis approaches the halfway point of the season, the pitching staff’s performance has them firmly in the driver’s seat of the East Division.
The Red Sox boasts a 3.64 ERA, good for second-best in the CCBL. Additionally, YD finds itself in second in total strikeouts, behind only Cotuit.
Pinson and his fellow pitching staff proved themselves able to pitch at a high level. It’s up to them to continue what they’ve built.