BRISTOL - Bristol Blues pitcher Jared Kollar reached his innings limit for the summer, so the team was seeking a replacement in the rotation.
In Thursday night’s game against the North Shore Navigators, the Blues may have found their guy in Adam Riggleman, who came to Bristol from his home state of West Virginia, where he had been playing American Legion Baseball.
“I was playing summer ball back home and then got the call from [Blues manager] Ronnie [Palmer] that a spot opened up and I could come play,” Riggleman said. “So I took advantage of the situation.”
In four innings of one-run ball, his fastball was lively and his off-speed pitches were moving.
“I’d give myself a ‘B’ if I was giving myself a letter grade,” Riggleman said. “I had my stuff moving today, but I still missed some spots here and there, going deep in counts instead of trying to get ahead. Overall, it was a good start and I’m pleased.”
With his sophomore season at Glenville State University approaching, Riggleman knew the Futures Collegiate Baseball League was a step up in competition from the Legion lineups that he was facing.
Also, Riggleman was in his fourth season playing for the same Legion baseball team, so a change of scenery could serve him well as he looks to build on his freshman campaign, when he pitched 57 2/3 innings with a 4.53 ERA and 49 strikeouts.
“It was just an opportunity I couldn’t really pass up,” Riggleman said. “It’s better competition and it’s better for me to make myself better here. With a bunch of Division I guys [in the league], it helps me out a lot.”
While there weren’t many negatives to take away from Riggleman’s first start, one could be working ahead in counts.
Riggleman fell behind throughout his first start, which is why he was pulled after four innings with a high pitch count.
“We took him out after four because he was at 80 pitches, so we wanted to watch his pitch count tonight,” Palmer said.
If Riggleman can get ahead in the count, the late-season addition could pay dividends for the Blues.
“He’s got good command of his stuff and if he can stay out of deep counts, he’ll give us more innings as far as his outings are concerned,” Palmer said. “We think we’ve got a pretty good shot to compete when he takes the mound.”