Written By: Matthew Sokol, Campbell blog contributor
Senior pitcher Nick Thayer is now in his second year with the team, and is entering his second and final go around in Big South Conference play for the Campbell Baseball team.
Last year, Thayer had posted a 3-3 record in Big South play, recording a team-high 2.91 ERA in 43 1/3 innings while punching out 34 batters at the dish.
Thayer finished the season on a solid note as well, logging consecutive complete games at Gardner-Webb and No 23 California down the stretch. Entering his final stretch in BSC play, Thayer looks to pick up where he left off from last season.
“The biggest thing for Nick is that last year he was a starter for us in conference play,” said Campbell Baseball pitching coach Jeff Steele. “In the second half of the conference season, he really came into his own as he continue to develop on his pitches.”
“This year through his four starts he really commands the strike zone, and he gives us a good fit at the top of our rotation to compete against other number one’s in the Big South Conference.”
In the Big South Tournament against Charleston Southern back in May, Thayer earned a win going six innings allowing one run on six hits along with one strikeout.
Pitching well in Big South Conference play is something that the Overland Park, Kan. native is rather familiar with at this point and Thayer continues to share his wisdom with younger teammates learning the ropes of the Big South.
“Going into next week, we are trying to get some wins this weekend and having some momentum going into conference play is huge,” said Thayer. “I am telling all the younger guys, especially the pitchers to stay competitive in the zone and throw a lot of strikes.”
Behind the plate, JD Andreessen has experience catching the Camels’ ace, starting eight games overall in the Big South. Even early into the 2016 campaign, Andreessen knows what to expect.
“Nick is always in the zone, especially when his fastball is working getting ahead in the count along with his slider,” said Andreessen. “As a catcher, it is nice to work with Thayer and he has the same flare going in conference play. We are just trying to get as many strikes as possible, and going out there to win a baseball game.”
This year, Thayer has a record of 4-1 and has recorded 30 strikeouts from the mound posting a 2.57 ERA. The Fighting Camels hope to ride his strong arm to an impressive mark in conference play, hoping to match last year’s 3-0 start in BSC play last season.
“Coming back as a senior, I want to individually get a good start for conference play to get my own momentum going,” noted Thayer. “The other seniors like Grant, who have been there before, know how different it is during conference play.”
Thayer will likely get the nod tonight against North Carolina A&T at 6:00 p.m. The Camels begin conference play next Thursday at Charleston Southern starting at 6:00 p.m.