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The Vanguard

Pitcher of the week: Thomas Huston

Ryann Guy, Reporter

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Many athletes have their own inspiration motivating them to play.  

Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week Thomas Huston said, “Ever since I was a little kid, baseball has been in my family.”

His father, Steve Huston, played at the University of West Florida in the ‘80s and was drafted with the St.Louis Cardinals. His father is who he looks up to on and off the field. Huston explains how his brother played as well and he plays baseball because he not only loves the game but wants to follow in his family’s footsteps.

Huston also enjoys being a part of another family, his team.


“We’re pretty much like brothers,” he said. A brotherhood is extremely important to have a successful team.

It is one of his favorite parts about playing for South. Huston said at a Junior College, people more so play for themselves as everyone is looking to get scouted by bigger schools and play at four-year colleges. With the Jaguars, this is their team. Some of the players know that this is where their career ends and they would like to make the most out of their time with their baseball family. He believes that his contribution to the team’s atmosphere on a day when he is not on the mound is by being as loud as possible and cheering on his teammates.

“I try to keep my team in the ballgame and let my defense help me out,” Huston said.

There are a lot of athletes, however, who do not have the same attitude as Huston. A true team player has confidence in his team’s ability. Instilling your trust in your teammates and knowing that if the ball is put in play, they will do their job is important for any team.

Huston did not always know he was going to go to South Alabama. He first attended Pensacola State Junior College where he lettered the two years he played. Also, he received recognition by the Florida College System Activities Association and named second-team all-Panhandle Conference as a sophomore.

Head Coach Mark Calvi was the first to contact him about a position playing for South Alabama. After Huston was offered a scholarship he decided to become a Jaguar.

As for Huston’s personal pitching style, he has improved by changing his technique when he throws. It now resembles a side-arm throw rather than an over the top motion. The difference when one throws a side arm pitch rather than over the top is the batter has a tougher time reading the ball and puts a different spin on it.

Last season, Huston started three games and managed a 7.02 ERA. So far this season, he has improved his ERA to 2.85 with four wins and one loss, striking out 45 in 53.2 innings.

The most memorable game for Huston was against Louisiana-Lafayette. The team lost 11-1 Friday night, but came back the next game and won 6-0. He was pitching that game and struck out six batters in seven innings of work.

Within the past few weeks, all of the players have shaved their hair into mohawks. This is a superstition that the team went through as they were having some trouble winning mid-season. However, Huston explains that is not the only good luck charm the team has.

“We also have a five pound gummy bear named, Gilbert that we keep around in the dugout. He is like our spirit animal,” Huston said.

After their game against University of Louisiana at Monroe, the guys went to the ULM mall and they came across this five pound gummy bear. It then became a competition to see who could eat it within 30 minutes. Later, the team won their game that evening and concluded that ‘Gilbert the Gummy Bear’ was good luck and could not be consumed, but carried around with them to future games.

The baseball team goes on to face Mississippi State University at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at home. For more information about South Alabama Athletics go to usajaguars.com to purchase tickets, listen to games, or watch live stats.

 

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The student news site of The University of South Alabama
Pitcher of the week: Thomas Huston