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Notebook: Burton throws gas, other tidbits from PT College League

Jacob Burton was consistently throwing 95 miles per hour Monday night in Perfect Timing College League.
Jacob Burton was consistently throwing 95 miles per hour Monday night in Perfect Timing College League. (Arkansas Athletics)

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SPRINGDALE — It took only a handful of pitches for Jacob Burton to draw a crowd Monday evening.

Playing in the Perfect Timing College League with players from all levels - JUCO, Division II, Division III, etc. - of college baseball, the right-hander’s fastball just sounded different when it hit the catcher’s mitt.

As coaches, local media and casual onlookers gathered behind the backstop of his field at the Tyson Complex, someone took out a radar gun. The first pitch on the gun was a slider at 84 miles per hour.

Burton’s fastball was consistently clocked at 95 mph and even touched 96 mph once. The first two batters he faced didn’t have a chance. They struck out on seven total pitches, with the second never taking the bat off his shoulder.

“Oh, gas,” teammate Robert Moore said afterward about Burton’s performance. “Especially because we haven’t seen pitching in a while. So when he got up there, it was like you didn’t even see the ball.”

It should have been an 11-pitch perfect inning, but the first baseman booted a soft grounder when the third batter Burton faced managed to make weak contact.

That seemed to rattle Burton a bit, as he beamed the next hitter with a 94 mph fastball in a 2-2 count and then issued a five-pitch walk to load the bases. With his team clinging to a 2-0 lead, Burton found the strike zone again and notched his third strikeout to secure the save.

“I felt really good,” Burton said. “I felt like my fastball was really on and I just started throwing a new breaking ball and it looked pretty good today, too.”

Roster Moves

Before he heads to Florida to play in a different league, Moore is suiting up alongside Burton with the Perfect Timing White team. He had originally planned to play on the PT Cardinal team with several other Arkansas teammates.

In his first at bat, Moore knocked an RBI single through the right side while batting left-handed. That accounted for half of the scoring in his team’s 2-0 victory. He ended up going 1 for 3, as he popped out and struck out while batting right-handed his next two times up.

After being the Razorbacks’ primary starting second baseman this season, Moore was at shortstop Monday. It’s a position he started at once during the shortened 2020 season and one he could play next season with Casey Martin moving on to the professional ranks.

“I hope so,” Moore said. “I feel comfortable everywhere, so wherever Coach (Dave) Van Horn wants to put me, that’s where I’ll play and I’ll be comfortable there.”

On Tuesday morning, Moore was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball. It’s the fourth straight year an Arkansas has earned that honor, as he follows Dominic Fletcher (2017), Heston Kjerstad (2018), Casey Martin (2018) and Connor Noland (2019).

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