Repine Closes The Door For Generals
By Ryan Lazo, sports editor
Aug 1, 2014, 09:23
Devin Repine leads the Generals with three saves in three opportunities this season.
PETERSBURG — When Devin Repine takes the mound in the late innings of a tight contest, everyone notices. Repine is an imposing figure on the mound, standing at 6-foot-9 with the ability to locate his pitches to every quadrant of the strike zone. Yet, it was a path he may not have taken if it were not for the love he gained for the game of baseball while growing up.
The Salisbury, Maryland native always found himself being among the biggest of all the athletes and many believed football was his calling. His height was considered to be a strength for a future on the offensive line, but as his grew older and continued to become taller, football became a riskier option. Once in high school, Repine's father told him of the inherent dangers of cut-blocks which would have been made easier to do because of height and risk injuries to his knees.
It was enough of a reason for anyone to focus on baseball, but Repine also noticed something else about America's past time. He liked that there was a never an easy way to get a win and comebacks were more frequent as opposed to other sports. And mostly, he recognized the absence of a clock, making each pitch and each swing a possible game-changing event.
"It's not like the other sports such as football where in the last two minutes you can run out the clock," Repine said before a game. "It's not like basketball where you can dribble out the clock and waste time when another team is making a run. In baseball, even if you down by 10 runs in the last inning, you can still comeback. There isn't a clock. You need to get 27 outs."
And over the course of the last three months, it has been Repine in charge of getting the last three outs of the game for the Petersburg Generals as the team's closer. Repine has not only been the Generals' best reliever, but is among the top relievers in all of the Coastal Plain League. In fact, of pitchers with at least 16 appearances out of the bullpen, Repine ranks 10th with a 2.21 ERA with three saves in three opportunities.
In a league with some of the top hitters in all of college baseball, Repine has more than held his own, striking out 19 batters in 20.1 innings pitched with his trademark control and late-breaking slider. His stats are made even more impressive when realizing Repine is not a flame-thrower on the hill. The right-hander possesses just a mid to upper 80s fastball, but it's made more effective because his height makes him seem to be right on top of the hitters.
With the way Repine attacks the zone at will, it's hard not to think he was born to play the position. However, Repine spent more time in the batter's box than the mound during his time in Bennett High School where he helped lead his team to a 3A Maryland State Championship.
In fact, it wasn't until he arrived at the University of Maryland Eastern-Shore that he stepped out of the box indefinitely and began to hone his trade on the mound.
"In high school, I hit more than I pitched. But when I got to UMES, they said I would be focusing on pitching and just trash the hitting. They figured because of my size, I would be able to get the downward angle and throw the ball a little harder."
But even the coaching staff of UMES could not expect the type of mentality Repine takes to the mound everyday. His no-nonsense approach and pound-the-zone strategy is the perfect combination for a pitcher in the volatile world of relief pitching.
However, it shouldn't be much of a surprise Repine had the stomach for the challenged which are inherent in being a reliever. After all, the right-hander committed to a Hawks' program not quite among the top teams in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, but one that is on the rise. He didn't care about past struggles, but just focused on the task at hand.
It's how Repine became an immediate contributor in his sophomore season, finishing with a team-best ERA of 4.20 and finishing with four saves which was the most for a Hawk since 2006. And he's taken that mentality to the mound with him for the Generals.
Devin Repine's 2.21 ERA ranks him in the top 10 in the Coastal Plain League for relievers.
It on was on display in the 9th inning of a 7-1 game against the Edenton Steamers when Repine surrendered a homer to Nick Kranick. Instead of wilting and allowing the Steamers to regain momentum, he retired the next two hitters to finish off the game and impress his manager.
"He's done a fantastic job," Wood said of his team's closer. "One thing he's done that's been impressive is he fills up the strike zone and he has an exceptional strikeout to walk ratio ... He's done a great job of having a short memory all the way through, whether it was a cheap hit like a dying quail in the outfield or someone barrels him up. He just gets right back on it because he understands that as long as he continues to make quality pitches, he's going to be successful."
After testing himself against some of the best players baseball has to offer in the CPL, Repine knows he has the ability to continue having success while moving closer to playing professional baseball with every strike thrown, out recorded and save earned.