Everyone seems to focus on the starting pitchers when it comes to the game of baseball.
It’s true the game can’t begin without a starter, but in how many instances can a starting pitcher throw a complete nine innings.
One vital cog to any baseball team is a solid bull pen; the University of Tennessee is no exception.
Volunteer Head Coach Todd Raleigh appears extremely excited when asked about the Vols pitching staff and especially when asked about the team’s closer.
“Matt Ramsey will be our closer this season,” Raleigh told InsideTennessee.com. “If you looked up closer in the dictionary, Matt is who they are talking about.”
Ramsey, a sophomore from Knoxville Farragut High School, made 27 appearances last spring as a true freshman. He picked up four saves in a closing role towards the end of last season.
According to Raleigh, Ramsey is built for the closer role and was an easy decision for him and his coaching staff.
“He is physically built for the role,” Raleigh said. “His biggest strength is his mentality he brings to the game. He loves and thrives on the pressure. When the game is on the line, he wants the ball in his hands and the responsibility of shutting down the opposition to pick up the win.”
Ramsey quickly admits that he is extremely excited about his role as the closer this season.
“Knowing that I’m the guy is extremely important to me and the team,” Ramsey said. “It’s very exciting. It’s what I love to do. I love going into the game for one inning and giving it everything I got.”
To say Ramsey thrives under pressure appears to be an understatement.
“I thrive on that pressure,” Ramsey admitted. “I want to be the guy that the team is counting on for the win or in this case the save. It’s my job to get it done, to finish and end the game.”
What are some of Ramsey’s strengths on the mound?
“He has a power fast ball that is pretty lethal,” Raleigh said. “He has a great breaking ball that we have named the “Hammer” curve ball.”
According to Ramsey, his fast ball for the right hander ranges in the mid 90’s and have been clocked well over 96 miles per hour.
“I have a reputation of recording a lot of strike outs,” Ramsey said. “I just need to keep working on keeping the ball down in the strike zone.”
Ramsey will be the first to admit that there is a new attitude on this ball club.
“This is a “No Excuses” year for all of us,” Ramsey said. “We are all focused on winning and winning now.”
Ramsey is hoping to get his first opportunity for his first save tonight, when the Volunteers host Xavier in a three game series.
“I’m ready,” Ramsey said. “I want my first save tonight. I want to get this season off to a great start; there is no better way to do that than win our first game, then our first series.”