Athlete of the Week: Justin Kleinsorge
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The Grand Junction Jackalopes have gotten some big performances from one of their pitchers during a key stretch of the season.
While the team is pushing for a playoff spot, Pitcher Justin Kleinsorge has been dealing, allowing three runs or less in five of his last seven starts.
“I’m just being in a groove right now. The last four outings have been pretty good. Just trying to hold them under five runs and put our team in a position to win because I know that our offense is good enough to put up, well over five runs again. And we’re only a couple games out,” Kleinsorge said.
During the recent dominant stretch, one particular outing against the Rocky Mountain Vibes stands out. Kleinsorge carried a no-hitter through eight innings against the first place Vibes. Something he says he wasn’t even aware of late in the game.
“I really wasn’t paying too much attention. I think a fan in the sixth or seventh inning said something about no hitter. And I kind of started thinking about a little bit on the mound, but it didn’t really affect me too much,” Kleinsorge said, " I mean, it’s hard to do, and you can’t really expect it. It was tough to lose in the ninth. But you know, I was close, and I was happy with happy with the way it ended regardless of the outcome there in the ninth inning.”
Despite throwing 117 pitches in the game against Rocky Mountain, 77 being strikes, Kleinsorge said he was fully ready to throw even more if it meant completing the game.
" I felt like I got stronger, the later went on, you kind of approach the finish line and you just get that little extra boost going in there into the eighth and the ninth inning. And I felt stronger at the end than I did. The whole time leading up to that,” Kleinsorge said.
Kleinsorge was just named Pioner League South Division Pitcher of the Week, for the second week in a row, after following up his almost no-hitter with another dominant game vs the Northern Colorado Owlz. Across eight innings the right-hander from Texas tied his season high with ten strike outs, only gave up two earned runs and allowed only six hits.
“I was locating my curveball. Well, that that day. Same with the fastball, just kind of piggybacking right off that pitch. I took those two pitches and brought it in my last outing,” Kleinsorge said.
This was the fourth time this season Kleinsorge was named Pitcher of the Week.
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