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Sports Article
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Stoudt Succeeding for Baysox
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Four appearances into his return to Double A, Levi Stoudt has embraced a different mindset. He's learning a new slider with more depth, and reviving the

Levi Stoudt pitches for the Bowie Baysox on June 

30.  The Marlborough Township native struck out

the side.

changeup that helped propel him to professional baseball.

            Pitching in a new role for a new organization appears to suit the Marlborough native. Stoudt has yet to allow a run out of the bullpen for the Baltimore Orioles Double-A affiliate.

            The Lehigh University product made his debut in relief for the Bowie Baysox on June 22. Sitting in the home bullpen at Prince George's Stadium, approximately 30 miles south of Baltimore, Stoudt was told he had an inning to warm up.

            "Time to go to work," he said. "This is why I'm back here."

            In 5 2/3 innings, Stoudt has permitted just five baserunners. The Orioles prospect has registered 13 strikeouts after fanning the side in an inning of work last weekend in Reading in the Eastern League.

            Pitching before family and friends approximately 30 miles from his childhood home, on a field he played on previously as a member of Perkiomen's American Legion baseball team, Stoudt displayed the aggression and velocity his pitches lacked while he was starting for the Seattle Mariners Triple-A affiliate.

            "I like this mindset," said Stoudt, 26, who last pitched in Double-A two seasons ago as a starter in the Cincinnati Reds organization. "I feel like I'm more focused, more dialed in. I know I only have one inning to empty the tank"

            The 2016 Perkiomen School graduate, whose fastball is approaching 97 mph views his current role with the organization as a tryout of sorts to get back to the Major League. Stoudt expects to be utilized in different scenarios.

            On Sunday night, Stoudt succeeded in a new challenge as a setup man. He worked a scoreless eighth inning to secure his third hold of the season and help the Baysox cap a six-game series with a 6-3 victory at FirstEnergy Field.

            A promotion to Triple-A Norfolk or Baltimore could come quickly since the Orioles placed Stoudt on their 40-man roster after claiming him earlier this month from the Mariners. The organization recommended that he adopt a gyro slider, also known as a bullet slider or a gyroball.

            Stoudt claims team officials determined his pronation, the inward turning of the forearm and thumb when he delivers a pitch, is conducive to throwing the pitch effectively. He uses it frequently during games and practices it while playing catch. Video from each of his catch sessions allows him to further perfect the grip.

            According to Stoudt, the Orioles have encouraged him to throw his Vulcan changeup, a pitch he learned at a camp as a 13-year-old. Three of his strikeouts with the Baysox have come on the pitch.

            "I'm throwing it well," said Stoudt, who tossed 10 1/3 innings for the Reds last season. "It's got a lot of bite."

            In his first appearance for Bowie, he tossed two shutout innings. Stoudt struck out four Curve hitters while allowing just one hit.

            On June 26, Stoudt earned his first professional hold with 1 2/3 shutout innings on four strikeouts against the Fightins. He worked around a leadoff walk, and a balk, in the seventh inning before retiring the initial two hitters in the eighth at FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday, June 26.

            Four days later, he came on to preserve his team's three-run lead. Stoudt relied on his fastball to shut down the Fightins.

            Initially, he retired Carson Taylor on three pitches. The hitter couldn't catch up with a 96-mph fastball at the letters.

            Then he caught Otto Kemp looking on a high 95 mph pitch. Stoudt ran a full count before recording the second out.

            Stoudt ran the count to 3-1 to Kendall Simmons before allowing a single to left on a slider. He then retired Ethan Wilson on a full-count, four-seam fastball to end the inning.






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