FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)--It's no secret that Blaine Knight is the only 11-0 pitcher in D1 baseball. But how did the junior get to this point? There are two secrets: pitching with tempo and hitting the inside corner with his fastball.
"Blaine's had to learn how to pitch inside, he's had to learn how to develop a changeup not just to left handers but to right handers," pitching coach Wes Johnson said.
Knight agreed. "Last year I couldn't throw in to save my life. I couldn't. You could've put a $100 bill on it, I couldn't have done it."
His game's gotten a lot better and he's been able to command better," fellow Bryant High School graduate and Razorback Evan Lee said. "He's able to throw his offspeed for strikes and he's just a mature and very experienced pitcher."
"When he's really special, he's throwing the fastball inside to both sides of the plate and he's throwing his changeup for a strike to any hitter," Johnson added.
"This team is the reason I'm 11-0, it ain't because anything I did. I just kept them off the board long enough to help get a win and hand it over to the pen," Knight said.
"Defenders love action. And if they're not getting action, they love the tempo to be quick," Johnson said.
"Anytime you have a veteran pitcher like that you're excited to give him the ball," said head coach Dave Van Horn. "We know what we're gonna get out of him, he'll throw it over the plate and make you earn it."
You know I've had a lot of good young men in my career, 21 years of doing this. I've had lots. And this young man is definitely top five competitors I've ever had," Johnson said.
The Bryant native was drafted 87th overall in the 3rd round by the Orioles earlier this week. But before his professional career commences, Knight looks to lead Arkansas back to the college world series.
First pitch in the Super Regionals between Arkansas and South Carolina is at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.