MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

July 25, 2013

Bacone pitcher using opportunity in summer ball

For college baseball players the summer typically serves as an opportunity for growth and development and for Bacone College pitcher Tim Hill that couldn’t be more evident.

Last season at Bacone, the junior tied for the team lead with seven wins with a 2.47 ERA while striking out 79 batters. He was impressive enough that Bacone baseball coach J.T. Severe got him an opportunity to play for the Florence Red Wolves of the Coastal Plain League.

“He deserved the opportunity,” Severe said. “He pitched well for us all year and I’m really proud of how he’s performed against top-tier competition.”

The Coastal Plain League is a wood-bat collegiate summer league that showcases college baseball players at every level throughout the country. Severe coached for Florence in 2008 as an associate head coach where they finished runner-up for the Petitt Cup.

“Playing for the Red Wolves this summer has been a once in a lifetime experience,” Hill said. “From playing ball to hanging out with my host family on the few off days that I have, it has all been truly amazing.”

The Red Wolves are wrapping up their 2013 schedule, which ends on Aug. 5, and Hill has been playing alongside teammates from all levels including Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina, Clemson and Oral Roberts.

“The competition out here is unreal, it’s been a great learning experience for me.” Hill said. “A lot of these guys aren't going to be overpowered by just throwing fastballs. You really have to switch up speeds and hit your spots in this league. I love the competition, I feel like playing amongst these types of players forces you to play at a higher level.”

Initially, Hill came out of the bullpen but got his first game on June 13 against Martinsville. He allowed six hits in five innings with four strikeouts and two runs. His last start was last Saturday where he held Asheboro scoreless on three hits for six innings with seven strikeouts.

Hill currently sports a 2-2 record with a 2.72 ERA and 45 strikeouts. He hopes to continue his momentum the rest of the way.

“The main thing that I try to focus on is preparation,” Hill said. “In between starts, I work hard on my running and conditioning as well as keeping the ball down and throwing lots of strikes. Once my start day comes, I just go out and do my thing worry free because I know I’m prepared.”

Throughout this experience, the senior-to-be has picked up a variety of tips to help him when he suits for the Warriors in the spring of 2014.

“I try to pick up things from everyone out here,” Hill said. “Whether it’s holding runners on better or knowing how to read a hitters swing to signal what to throw next. The biggest thing I’ll take home from playing in the CPL is that when facing a better opponent, it doesn't require you to do anything more than just having more focus.”

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