Maine baseball building 2023 pitching staff
The Black Bears are back in action with a trip to St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia this weekend before the team’s home-opening series with UMass Lowell starting on March 31
ORONO, Maine (WABI) - Maine baseball is building a pitching staff that it hopes will help accomplish the team’s four main keys for the 2023 season: winning 30 games to go with the America East regular season and tournament championships, plus a trip to super regionals.
Maine’s starting pitchers need to be firing right away and sustain their performance.
“With us, it’s all just about mentality, going at the hitters, knowing that our stuff is good enough, and having the confidence that each and every pitch is going to be the best one. I’ve had really all three pitches working. It’s a lot easier to get ahead of guys when everything’s working right now. I have my fastball, changeup, and slider. It’s just the ability to get ahead with different pitches and then be able to end guys. You go through the lineup about two or three times. That’s what I’m trying to do each and every outing,” said Colin Fitzgerald, sophomore starter.
Then, it’s time for the middle relievers, setup men, and closers to take over.
“You’re coming right at these guys. You’re coming in when it’s bases loaded, people on base. You’ve just got to come in throwing strikes. That’s kind of the basis compared to the starting role. It’s a lot different. You’ve got to span it out through five or six innings. As a closer role, you’ve got to come right at them,” said J.T. Baeyens, graduate closer.
Finding the right pieces is a process.
“It really always starts with strike throwing. Some guys are just better as a starter. Some guys are better out of the bullpen. When you’ve got to get hot in a bullpen, you don’t have the same amount of time. You don’t have a set time frame, whereas with a starter, your game starts at 12:05, so you just have to be ready for first pitch at 12:05. As a bullpen guy, you’ve got to be ready as soon as possible. We walk them through certain ways of getting their body ready,” said Nick Derba, head coach.
Everyone on the pitching staff has their own paths to success.
“It’s just about repetition and going through the routine that you want to do each and every single day to get yourself prepared for each and every outing,” said Fitzgerald.
“It’s all about mentality. You’re visualizing as you warm up in the bullpen the situations that you’re brought into, staying cool, calm, and collected,” said Baeyens.
They’re helping the Black Bears win games from quality starts to shutting the door.
Derba said the team’s quality start goes are pitching five innings while limiting opponents to three runs.
The Black Bears are back in action with a trip to St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia this weekend before the team’s home-opening series with UMass Lowell starting on March 31.
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