We are one month into the college baseball season. Let's take a quick look at some pitchers who have jumped out of the gates with red-hot starts.
Don't look at this as a list of the best pitchers in college baseball. This early in the season, there are plenty of pitchers performing very well and to pick five was not an easy task. These five have caught our eye simply by dominating the mound early on in 2019.
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Tanner Burns, Auburn
Burns is coming off an award-winning freshman season for the Tigers and has shown no signs of a sophomore slump. In fact, it looks like the 6-0 righty is getting stronger. He allowed just one run in each of his first outings and hasn’t allowed any since. Burns tossed a complete game shutout to open March, striking out 15 and walking none. After four starts, Burns has a 39-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio and hasn’t allowed a run in 16 innings. He and Jack Owen are not making things easy for hitters right now.
Tommy Henry, Michigan
Henry was a solid pitcher for the Wolverines last season. He went 7-3 in 15 starts, posting a 3.09 ERA and striking out just over eight batters per nine innings. This season, Henry has been the very definition of an ace. He’s gone at least six innings in every start and is striking out 13.65 per start. Henry’s only walked four and has allowed just two runs in four starts. The junior southpaw was sensational in a one-hit complete-game shutout against Citadel, striking out 13 and walking none while only needing 88 pitches, and proved his stuff was for real in an impressive win over No. 2 UCLA on the road in his last start.
Noah Song, Navy
The senior righty has an impressive resume that will only grow as he prepares to become a helicopter pilot upon graduation. Before that starts, he is making the most of his final season, off to a fantastic start. His fastball has seemed to add some velocity, hitting as high as 97, and his slider helps generate the best strikeout-per-nine rate in college baseball at 18.23. Song has struck out 12, 14, 10, and 16 in his first four starts and finally allowed his first run in his March 9 start against Cornell. His 0.35 ERA is one of the best among starters through the first month.
Reid Detmers, Louisville
Detmers opened the season tossing five strong innings against Connecticut, allowing just one run to score that came in the final inning of his 2019 debut.
He hasn’t allowed a run since.
The sophomore lefty had a solid freshman campaign but has been utterly dominant in his past three starts. He’s gone 22.2 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out 38 and walking two. Using primarily three pitches, Detmers knows his way around the strike zone to keep opposing hitters at bay. There’s a big test coming up this weekend with Duke ahead.
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Nick Lodolo, TCU
Lodolo took a tough-luck loss on Opening Day against Cal State Fullerton, allowing two runs in five innings. In his three starts since, he has gone seven innings each time out and is getting stronger and stronger each outing. The junior lefty has allowed just four runs while striking out 31 and walking two. The addition of a mid-80s slider to his low-90s fastball and low-80s curve deceives hitters. The more that slider develops, the seemingly more tough Lodolo gets to hit.
Three more to watch:
Logan Allen, Florida International: The sophomore lefty has made three straight starts with no runs allowed and double-digit strikeouts.
George Kirby, Elon: The junior righty did have a stinker against Wagner, but he also has walked just one batter in his first 26.1 innings, leading college baseball with a 38-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He bounced back quickly from that Wagner start with a one-hit, complete game shutout, striking out 11 and walking none.
Matt Canterino, Rice: After a tough outing against nationally-ranked UC-Irvine, the junior righty has had two strong starts against Texas State and Oklahoma. He entered the season with one of the best pitch arsenals in college baseball, and it appears he’s now comfortable and ready to roll.