Cavalier Corner

April 2014

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cavalier profile NATHAN KIRBY Second-Year • Baseball Oh what a difference a year makes. Last season, Midlothian, Va., product Nathan Kirby made two starts and 22 relief appearances, and posted a 4-1 record and a 6.06 ERA. In 2014, the southpaw was 5-1 with a 1.24 ERA, which ranked second in the ACC (behind only teammate Connor Jones) and 44th in the NCAA, in seven starts through March 31. What's different? Kirby said he's being more consistent with his breaking pitches to complement his 90- to 92-mile-per- hour fastball. "I think the biggest difference from a year ago is I've been throwing a lot more strikes early in the count," he said. "And I've been able to throw my off-speed pitches more for strikes and keep the hitters more off-balance." Kirby wasn't really doing anything wrong physically or mechanically last season. The issue was more just having the confidence of when to throw his off-speed stuff and having confidence in those pitches, something he and pitching coach Karl Kuhn worked on in the fall and training camp. "I tried to put myself in a position to throw more off-speed stuff for strikes this summer, but I think Coach KK's helped me make the big step in fall ball and early this spring and it's starting to come around." Whatever Kuhn did obviously worked and Kirby has the numbers to prove it. In addition to his low ERA and league-high win total (tied with five others), he ranked fifth in the ACC in opponent batting average (.173) and tied for 10th in strikeouts (37). But Kirby said he doesn't worry about the numbers — just winning. "The biggest thing for me is consistency and not worry about the past or the future," the second-year lefty said. "We have independent games so I can't worry about the next game or the past game. I just go out there and try and keep the other team from scoring more runs than our team scores. "I really don't like to worry about the numbers. Coach always says if the intentions are good then the results will be good. Winning and the team are more important to me than anything." — Greg Waters ◆ Photo by Jim Daves/courtesy UVa i28.CP-Nathan Kirby.indd 53 4/2/14 9:34 AM

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