Tyler Lockwood: Just Give Him The Ball
June 25, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. -- Most conventional pitching staffs believe in a fine line between starters and relievers.
As TCU arms continue to succeed from start to finish, senior Tyler Lockwood balances along the unofficial boundary between the two types of pitching. The Sugar Land, Texas, native has produced for the Horned Frogs since he was a freshman and loves being a multi-use hurler.
"He's the most valuable pitcher we've had in seven years at TCU," said head coach Jim Schlossnagle. "He can pitch in any role. He's a strike machine, has no ego, and all he wants to do is pitch."
In his first three years for the Frogs, Lockwood appeared in 60 games with 23 being starts. As a sophomore in 2008, he was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection as a starter.
In 2010, all 28 of his team-high appearances are out of the bullpen.
"I feel comfortable in any situation that they put me in," said Lockwood. "Whatever the team needs me to do, I'll go out there whether it's in relief or in starts."
Lockwood's closer role that he has held all season has come in an unusual manner. While most closers, professionally or collegiately, are seemingly designated to last-inning save situations, Lockwood has recorded eight saves on the season with all of them coming after at least 1 1/3 innings of work.
"To have a guy like him not only comforts me, but also others because he's going to throw strikes and get people out," said freshman Matt Purke, who Lockwood came in for in Friday's win over UCLA to earn his eighth save. "There are guys on this team that we really count on and he's definitely one of them."
In Friday's action, Lockwood tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings allowing just a hit and a walk while striking out two, lowering his ERA to 2.19. He came in with the Frogs leading 3-1 and held the Bruins down to keep the season alive in Omaha. His performance earned TCU a winner-take-all contest with UCLA on Saturday at 1 p.m., with the victor advancing to the best-of-three championship series against the Bracket Two champion.
Lockwood, a 25th-round pick of the Boston Red Sox, insists that he will not change anything in his routine in the transition to professional baseball.
"I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing by throwing strikes," said Lockwood.
As the Frogs attempt to become the first team to win the College World Series in their first appearance since Minnesota in 1956, Lockwood has drawn praise from his head coach for his versatility in succeeding in any situation.
"You win championships with pitchers like that," said Schlossnagle.
By David Cohen, GoFrogs.com