Richman switches roles, ups effectiveness

Colin Ritsick

He began his college baseball career with a win over the University of Georgia before going on to lead the Eagles in starts last year with 14.

Now, 31 games into the season, sophomore left-hander Jason Richman hasn’t made a single start. Yet he is arguably the most effective pitcher on the team.

Richman (4-0, 1.59 ERA) has pitched solely out of the bullpen this year, and it appears to suit him just fine. He has appeared in 22 games and thrown 39.2 innings – the second most on the team. He has struck out 34 batters, also second most on the team, and has one save to his name.

“I enjoy it. It’s a different role obviously from starting last year. I wasn’t so sure of it at all times, but I’ve been able to come in some tough situations and help the team out,” Richman said.

His biggest situation was pitching in relief for starting junior RHP Eric Alonzo against the Georgia Institute of Technology – just the fourth game of the year. Richman struck out two batters in two scoreless innings to earn his second win.

“Sometimes you’re put in tough roles, but at the end of the day it’s nice to put out a fire,” Richman said.

While he has had success, his move to the bullpen wasn’t always the plan.

Richman is a long lefty that throws sidearm. He said he was trying to work on coming over the top during the fall practices and thus gain more velocity – but it wasn’t going well.

“It was a little bit of a tough fall,” Richman said.

So he made the move to start throwing submarine-style. Once he came out and threw strikes with his new approach, the coaches decided to run with it. Having a lefty that can switch up the batters eyes with his arm slot out to the side of his body is a big asset for a coach.

Richman’s new style and new role means his preparation is slightly different. He doesn’t throw as much outside of games as he did last year. But he likes the consistent innings he gets and the increased outings.

But the best part of the transition for Richman is getting to help out the team.

Richman said, “That’s what it’s all about, bottom line. Getting wins as a team.”