Jeff Samardzija Drops the Ball in Pro Debut

Notre Dame Wide Receiver and 5th round pick of the Chicago Cubs Jeff Samardzija dropped his professional baseball debut with the single A Boise Hawks last night against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in a 6-1 loss. Samardzija allowed 2 runs in 2 innings to fall to 0-1 on the season.

The power pitcher allowed 6 total base runners, allowing 3 hits, one of which was a 2 run homerun, and hit 3 batters. The Notre Dame standout was on a 35-pitch limit, he threw 33 before being pulled after 2 innings of work.

Samardzija retired the first 2 batters he faced on just 6 pitches, and when it looked like he would have a perfect 1st inning in the pros, he surrendered a solo homerun to Volcanoes’ 3 hole hitter Will Thompson.

Hawks’ manager Steve McFarland liked what he saw despite the young gun losing the game. McFarland told that…

“I’m not concerned about what they do against him. I just want him to be able out go out there and command something, just throw some strikes.” He said.

Jeff threw 20 out of his 33 pitches for strikes.

Samardzija knows that he has plenty of room for improvement, and with the work ethic that has impressed his coaches dating back to high school, you could bet on him pitching better the next month he is with Boise. Samardzija also commented on this to

“I started trying to pitch a little too fine, especially for my first outing,” he said Tuesday. “You leave a ball out in the middle of the plate, or you give up free bases, whether by hitting a batter or walking him, and you’re going to pay.” He said.

The good news for Samardzija is that he is scheduled to remain with the Hawks until August 1st before returning to South Bend for the football season, that will allow him to pitch at least 6 more starts.

Meanwhile, Boise’s record stands at a non-impressive 2-7 9 games into the young season.

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