Hellickson throws perfect inning, Phillies top U of Tampa
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) Jeremy Hellickson and Aaron Nola each pitched a scoreless inning and catching prospect Andrew Knapp hit a two-run single, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the University of Tampa 8-3 Sunday.
It was the first exhibition of spring training involving a big league team.
The game provided a bit of revenge for the Phillies in the matchup at their Bright House Field. Last year, the Phillies opened their spring schedule with a 6-2 loss to the Spartans.
Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin playfully let out a deep breath and wiped his brow as he walked off the field to meet with the media.
''A good scout friend of mine texted me last night (saying) he wanted to remind me that college teams vs. major league teams in spring training are 1-23,'' Mackanin said. ''So, we got rid of that.''
After Hellickson threw a perfect first inning frame in his first appearance with his new team, the Phillies scored three times in the bottom half of the inning.
Odubel Herrera, who finished 2 for 2 with an RBI and a run scored, led off with a single.
Nola, who was credited with the win, followed with his own 1-2-3 frame in the second inning, Herrera then added an RBI single.
''He hit a couple of lasers,'' Mackanin said of Herrera, who batted .297 in 147 games as a rookie last season.
The Phillies tacked on three more runs in the third inning, highlighted by a two-run single from non-roster infielder Angelys Nina.
''Not many of (our) guys are going to make it to major league baseball,'' University of Tampa manager Joe Urso said. ''So to come out here and be able to play the Phillies, I can't thank them enough for putting this together for us two years in a row.''
''These are memories this kids will never forget. It's not about winning and losing for me - for me it's about representing our university well, and we've done that two years in a row.''
Phillies: Hellickson, acquired in a November trade with Arizona, is one of the more seasoned pitchers in the Phillies staff despite being just 28 years old.
''It's fun,'' said Hellickson, the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year with Tampa Bay. ''I was in that position my first couple of years and I'd ask David (Price), James (Shields) ... and those guys all the questions I could and tried to learn all that I could. So I'm trying to take what I learned from those guys and pass it on to these guys.''
University of Tampa: RHP Chris Williams watched four of the first five hitters he faced reach base in the first of his two innings. He allowed four runs on five hits in his first action against major league hitters.
Phillies: LF/3B Cody Asche (right oblique) remains day-to-day. He had hoped to be ready when the Phillies open their Grapefruit League schedule on Tuesday. . Utility INF Andrew Blanco (shoulder) is ''going through a process'' in an attempt to return to action soon, Mackanin said. ''I'm told he's going to be fine,'' he said. ''We don't want to push him.''
UP NEXT: The Phillies host to the Toronto Blue Jays in the Grapefruit League opener for both teams on Tuesday in Clearwater. RHP Severino Gonzalez is scheduled to start for Philadelphia.