He hasn’t wasted any time showing people what he can do on the field. Pitching a total of six innings in his first three games for the Explorers, Bates struck out 13 batters while giving up 4 runs on 7 hits. He faced 25 batters in that stretch, striking out more than half of them.
On Wednesday night against the Lincoln Saltdogs, he had a stellar showing, striking out four of the six batters he faced while giving up just one hit.
“The explorers are great,” Bates told Outsports this week. “All of the guys don’t care about my sexuality, we’re all just here to win a ball game. That’s what I’m here to do, and they see that as well.”
For those of you not familiar with baseball, two strikeouts per inning is high, and striking out 4-of-6 is excellent at any level of baseball.
Sioux City is an independent ball club that competes in the American Association of Professional Baseball.
Bates had been in the San Francisco Giants’ Minor League Baseball system when he came out publicly as gay last week. He’s exuded nothing but confidence being a gay man in his sport since coming out — That confidence has stemmed from some solid pitching skills.
Bates played college baseball at USC before entering Minor League Baseball.