Paine College’s Evan Krenz Receiving National Attention

It has been quite the 2016 season for Paine College pitcher, 20-year old righty Evan Krenz. First he earned Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and Black College Nines (BCN) preseason honors. For Krenz, the sky is the limit. Perhaps he can make a run at all of those preseason accolades and lift a conference trophy at the conclusion of this season.

But, Krenz is focused on being the best Lions pitcher and getting his team through the regular season leading to a conference championship.

Last season, after an impressive freshman campaign, Krenz slid into the pitching rotation as their No. 1 starter sitting atop the rotation. His pitching philosophy focuses in on consistent preparation on a daily basis covering areas of command, good stuff, mental, and fielding according to head coach Kerby Marshall. “With the routine we provide, prepare every day consistently, our players believe in themselves and expect a positive result”.

Coach Marshall is great at getting guys who have a lot of potential, or guys who have great stuff and then perfecting it. “I like to say we do routine very well,” coach Marshall said. “I feel the game often gets too complex. Our simplicity, we attack hitters”.

He gives his pitchers a lot of opportunities early on because he wants them to develop. He thinks it’s easier to develop into good habits during games than just always being in practice. Krenz fits into that category.

Last season, as a freshman, has prepared Krenz for this season. “I came into this year looking for a successful season. I’m doing that to the fullest. Being the ace of the staff, it feels good to be the day one starter to start off with a win, trying to get a win every weekend. I really don’t see myself as being the top pitcher during a ball game”.

His approach to the game is “to keep the ball down and throw as many strikes as I can. I’m all about spotting up my pitches and hitting the spot”.

Krenz attacks hitters with the command to keep the opposing batter off-balance, “pounding with my cutter and curve were I just hit the outside corners, hit the inside corner as much as I possibly can to keep ’em guessing. But I also rely on our defense to help however they can”.

During a recent series, on February 27th, Paine defeated Lincoln University 8-0 in game one and 9-5 in game two. In that first game, Krenz pitched a no-hitter. His full repertoire was on display. He had 13 strikeouts and was one pitch from a perfect game. With 2 outs in the 7th and a 3-2 count on the batter, he tried to get the batter to chase a pitch in the dirt. The batter played it safe and walked. Krenz then got the next batter to chase a bad pitch that bounced in and struck him out to end the ball game. Krenz faced 22 batters. His record on the season is 4 wins and 1 loss.

Krenz was asked if he did anything different in a conference game compared to a non-conference game? “I don’t think about that part of the game. I just keep my head in the game focusing on what’s in front of me. It is more about blocking out that stuff and just going out there and throwing.”

There’s a changed atmosphere around Paine baseball. Team expectations are at its highest since the program returns its core players and has its sights set to win the conference. “They see this is the year for them,” Paine coach Marshall said.

Heading into this week’s action, Paine (9-8) has a mid-week non-conference game against the University of West Georgia, then Krenz will take the mound to start a big weekend tilt with surprising Morehouse College.

Paine has all the pieces to win. The starting pitching is great, the bullpen has been consistent and keeping the Lions in the close games. The lineup is probably one of the best in the SIAC. Once they start stringing together those hits and getting it all together, they’re going to be really good.

Krenz is doing very well off of the field. Has a 3.94 GPA and is a Presidential Scholar at Paine College.

 

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