The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


June 6, 2013

Untouchable, Unhittable, Unbeatable Unsworth


With the LumberKings, he's compiled career bests against the best lineups he's ever faced: 2.25 season ERA, one loss, .229 opponent average on 54 hits and 44 strikeouts. If Clinton loses an Unsworth start, it's not because of him. Through 10 games he's allowed only 17 runs, including five no-decisions with 10 runs allowed and two shutout wins.

Clinton pitching coach Andrew Lorraine said Unsworth's 53 consecutive innings without a walk can be credited to his aggressive mound approach.

"It's more than just walks and strikeouts to me," Lorraine said. "He's getting good counts. He's not walking guys, but he's also attacking hitters. He's using the plate, but he's also picking his spots to throw balls, intentionally coming at hitters, opening the plate more for him. ...

"The biggest thing is he's been a guy in the past where hitters were a little more comfortable against him. Now I think he's making them a little uncomfortable. It's great. It's why he's been successful."


Riding on Unsworth's right arm is a fastball that clocks in the mid-90s, four years and 47 games of consistent excellence. But his proudest moments take him back to his native land.

In 2012, weeks after helping the Everett Aquasox to a half-division title in the Northwest League, Unsworth flew across the globe for the World Baseball Classic preliminary games. Roughly three years to the day after signing his Mariners contract, he was the opening starter for South Africa in a losing effort against Isreal on Sept. 19.

It was vintage Unsworth, a term that may grow in popularity as his career unfolds: six innings, six strikeouts, one run allowed.

"Being chosen to start that first game for my country was a big moment," he said. "Growing up, I'd always wanted to pitch for the South African team, from 16 years old on up. Next thing you know, I'm the guy they're choosing. It was such a big hit for me."

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