The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

June 6, 2013

Untouchable, Unhittable, Unbeatable Unsworth

(Continued)

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."

Text Only
Sports
  • Thomas Smith Clinton's Smith to join Leathernecks

    Coming off a junior year in which he missed part of the football season because of injury, Clinton’s Thomas Smith figured he’d have to impress college recruiters with a big senior season for the River Kings.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • L'Kings offensive drought continues

    Shutout for the second time in two nights Saturday in a 2-0 loss to South Bend, the Clinton LumberKings' offense was limited again Sunday, managing just one run in a 4-1 Midwest League baseball loss to the Silver Hawks at Ashford University Field.

    July 28, 2014

  • 7-28-14 1B-Photo, Hall of Fame Thomas, Maddux enter Hall of Fame COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.Thomas, pitchers T

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too

    Brady Ernst is having a summer to remember.
    The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jones leaves UNO program

    Jalen Jones is done with basketball — for now, anyway.
    The 6-foot-5 Clinton High grad who had committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha, has left the program, and according to his Facebook page, has enrolled at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
    The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
    "College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
    Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
    Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
    He shot 41 percent on the floor and 28 percent from 3-point territory. He committed to Omaha before last season started in October.

    July 26, 2014

  • Hawkeyes to offer student tickets to public

    Iowa athletic director Gary Barta says the Hawkeyes will make any unsold student football tickets available to the general public as well on Aug. 1.

    July 25, 2014

  • PHOTOS: Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners

    Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners - Majors, Minors, Pee Wee

    July 25, 2014

  • Testimony ends in trial LOS ANGELES (AP) — Testimony ended Wednesday in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling’s estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers in a proposed $2 billion deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.Shelly Sterling, who had testified

    July 25, 2014

  • Whitecaps take away Clinton offense CLINTON — The Clinton LumberKings (13-19, 43-57) mustered only five hits as the visiting West Michigan Whitecaps (20-12, 61-41) shut down the hometown club at Ashford University Field.Whitecaps’ starter Jonathon Crawford (6-2) allowed only four men t

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-25-14 1B-Photo, Cubs San Diego sinks Cubs, 13-3 CHICAGO — Tyson Ross kept mowing down Chicago Cubs hitters, long enough for San Diego’s suddenly potent offense to carry the Padres to victory for the second straight night.Ross struck out a career-high 11, and the light-hitting Padres broke out for

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

High School Sports