Smith turns in solid performance in debut

Published 5:14 pm Friday, February 26, 2016

Debuts for athletes are usually memorable days.

For William Carey freshman Devin Smith, his collegiate debut last Saturday may be one he never forgets.

“It was really spur of the moment start when they told me I was starting,” Smith said. “We were playing Missouri Baptist, who is a nationally ranked team (No. 21). Coach came to me during the game on Friday and told me I had the start tomorrow. He told me to get the job done. He said they believed in me 100 percent and that I was the right man for the job.”

Smith was the right man for the job. The 2015 Mt. Hermon graduate threw a complete game over seven innings, allowing just two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and a walk.

The game was seven innings because it was part of a doubleheader.

He said one of the keys to his performance was that he was able to keep his pitch count down, and he credited that to his defense making plays.

William Carey’s defense turned a double play, threw out a runner attempting to steal and committed just one error.

“I knew I wasn’t going to have many base runners because of the way my defense was playing,” Smith said. “It allowed me to throw more strikes and I was able to keep the ball down.”

Smith was efficient, needing just 88 pitches for the complete game.

William Carey gave Smith some run support in the second, putting up a run, but then added five in the third to take a 6-0 lead.

“My offense did a great job of getting the lead and my defense did a great job of keeping the lead,” Smith said. “My defense was making plays the entire game. They were on their ‘A’ game the entire game. They did not take a play off.”

Missouri Baptist scored single runs in the fifth and sixth.

The win was the opener of the double header. The Crusaders lost the second game, 6-3, to drop their record to 6-5.

Smith’s next start is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27.