NCAA Baseball: Artie Lewicki overcomes rough start to pitch gem

college world seriesUVA starting pitcher Artie Lewicki walked two in the first inning, and in the process earned himself an early visit to the mound from pitching coach Karl Kuhn.

Whatever Kuhn said calmed down the senior righty, who battled back from his skittish first inning to go seven, giving up no runs on just three hits in Virginia’s 10-1 win over Bucknell.

After struggling to hit 90 mph on the radar with his fastball in the first, Lewicki was touching as high as 95 on the gun thereafter in a dominating performance.

So, what was it that Kuhn said to Lewicki to get his head back in the game?

“Between the first and second inning, he took me down and told me he was going to take me off his Christmas card list if I didn’t go out and start competing and going after the hitters. I think afterwards I was able to start going after batters,” Lewicki said.

Word after the game is that Lewicki is still, at least for now, on Kuhn’s Christmas card list.

UVA head coach Brian O’Connor admitted to being a bit nervous at seeing Lewicki’s struggles in the first.

“I’d be misleading you if I didn’t tell you I was a little concerned in that first inning,” O’Connor said.

Was it something mechanical that was keeping Lewicki from performing in the first? O’Connor didn’t think so.

“His velocity (in the first inning) wasn’t what it was in innings two through seven,” O’Connor said. “What we said was, Just go out there, throw hard, and let the chips fall where they may. After what we saw in the second inning, I was confident that he was going to give us a good, quality start.”

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