Drew Tolson (Baylor)
The pitching of the Albany Dutchmen is perhaps the biggest reason the Dutchmen have a league-best 8-3 record. The Albany pitching staff boasts a miniscule 1.20 ERA, and is holding opposing hitters to a .083 batting average. Dutchmen success has began and ended with the man in the center of the diamond.
Righthander Drew Tolson (Baylor) has been a major part of that success on the mound.
For his brilliant outing against the Utica Brewers on Tuesday, June 17, Tolson has been named the team’s second Spotlight Player of the Week.
Tolson tossed seven innings, six of which were perfect 1-2-3 innings. He allowed one run on one solitary hit, and struck out six hitters.
The key to Tolson’s success has been first pitch strikes, and his ability to hit his spots as a pitcher. Of the 50 hitters Tolson has faced in his two outings, he has thrown a strike on the first pitch 47 times. He has not allowed a single walk in 15.0 innings pitched.
In the victory against Utica, he did not face a single three-ball count. In his two starts, opposing hitters have just four hits, and are hitting an anemic .083 at the plate.
Tolson said getting ahead of hitters allows him to work diligently in retiring hitters, and maintain control against hitters.
“The first pitch strikes were able to let me pitch my game,” Tolson said, “and it helped me get outs quickly.
Tolson has made two starts for the Dutchmen, and has yet to surrender a walk. His fifteen innings without a walk is the best ratio in the league. The pitcher with the second most innings without a walk has thrown just 5.1 innings.
The Houston, Texas native displayed his penchant for control in his collegiate season at Baylor. Over 54.2 innings, Tolson only surrendered 11 walks, the fewest walks surrendered by an eligible Baylor pitcher.
The righty saw his first collegiate action this season for the Bears, making 19 appearances with seven starts. In high school, Tolson was a first team All-State selection and led his Memorial High School team to a regional semifinal berth.
The 6-foot Texan said he has enjoyed getting away from the sweltering heat of Houston — today’s high is 95 degrees in Houston — to play his summer baseball in New York’s capital city.
“Albany is beautiful, and the weather up here has been incredible other than the few rainouts we’ve had,” Tolson said. “I love it up here; it’s awesome.”