AAABA 2022 Brooklyn Cougars' Fils-Aime makes mound debut count against Zanesville

·2 min read

Aug. 1—Weeks ago, Brooklyn Cougars manager Eric Jaume and his coaches had promised Ronald Fils-Aime that he'd pitch on opening day in the 77th AAABA Tournament.

Fils-Aime, a left-hander who plans to pitch at the College of Staten Island during his upcoming senior season, hadn't thrown a single inning for the Cougars this summer.

"We told him all year long if we get here, he's throwing Game 1," Jaume said after Brooklyn's 8-1 victory over the Zanesville Junior Pioneers in Pool C on Monday at Westmont Hilltop High School.

"He felt it," Jaume said. "We said that's what we were going to do. We definitely were going to throw him on Day 1."

In six innings, Fils-Aime struck out 13 batters and walked four while throwing 100 pitches. He allowed three hits and one run.

"I was just excited," Fils-Aime said. "It was amazing. I hadn't pitched for a while before today. I was just preparing for this moment and training hard. Finally, to be able to come out and do what I did today it was a humbling experience."

Jaume was pleased by the overall mound outing of his two pitchers.

"He consistently pounded the strike zone, which is good," Jaume said of Fils-Aime. "He is well-rested. He hasn't thrown in a while so that helped him. He wasn't scored to pitch to his defense because his defense was playing well."

Fils-Aime said his absence from the mound had nothing to do with injuries or health reasons. Instead, he said he focused on elevating all aspects of his performance.

"I was just trying to get better, just trying to improve my game," said Fils-Aime, who pitched in relief during his freshman season in college but didn't play the past two years, including the COVID season. "I was just trying to train to get better and get ready for the college season. I was waiting for an occasion like this so I could make my debut and show what I got."

Right-hander Robert Marshall tossed three scoreless innings of relief, striking out five and walking one while allowing only one hit.

"It's really exciting, especially because we didn't have to go deep into our bullpen," Jaume said. "He threw well and the pitcher who came in after him, Bobby (Marshall), threw well. We still have a lot of arms left."

Julian Jaume had two hits for Brooklyn. Danny Pena hit a double.

Zanesville's Brody Hammersley had two hits, and Tyler Arter smacked a home run for the Junior Pioneers.

Brooklyn will face Buffalo Royal Printing at 1 p.m. on Tuesday at St. Michael/Forest Hills High School. Zanesville will meet Cleveland at 1 p.m. on Tuesday at Roxbury Park.