With time running out in his collegiate career, right-handed pitcher Pat Lehman is making the most of his limited time at GW.
In Lehman’s third start of the season, he was one out away from a no-hit 9-0 shutout against Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday before giving up a single. In addition to giving up only one hit, he struck out 13 and walked none for the Colonials (6-8).
“I just treated it like a normal game,” Lehman said. “Obviously a lot of things were going well for me.”
Lehman added, “I was throwing my pitches basically wherever I wanted and hitting my spots really well.”
No GW baseball player has pitched a no-hitter since 2002, when Nick Koken, then a freshman, threw one.
Though pitchers in Lehman’s situation sometimes claim to have been unaware of the fact that they hadn’t given up a hit, Lehman says he was well-aware of his accomplishment. Because of that, staying focused on getting each hitter out became even more important.
“I feel like if I thought more about giving up a hit, I wouldn’t have pitched as well,” he said. “Sometimes when you do too much, you hurt yourself.”
Even Lehman’s only blemish was hardly a mistake. Rather, it was a blooper that fell in shallow center field, an unfortunate break Lehman called “pretty upsetting.”
Thus far, Lehman has gone 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA and 25 strikeouts in two starts, easily the best start to a season of his career. Before 2009, Lehman had a combined record of 14-15. Now, with 21 innings already in the books and letting up only nine hits and one walk, the pieces are all falling into place.
Lehman attributes his improvement to his consistent effort in the offseason. It hasn’t hurt that he’s also been handed comfortable leads early in games, giving him room to breathe.
“Our offense has been doing really well,” Lehman said. “Everyone’s been swinging the bats really well. If they keep doing that all season, then we’ll have a bunch of wins.”
And that’s exactly what the 6-foot-4 hard-thrower (his fastball tops out at around 90 miles per hour) wants from his last season: a bunch of wins. He said that the Colonials’ main goal is to make the Atlantic 10 tournament, hopefully with a high seed. Even though the day didn’t end as he might have hoped, Lehman had little to complain about.
“I didn’t think badly of it, I still pitched very well,” he said. “It wasn’t like I was disappointed or anything. Our team was still winning. As long as you throw well and give your team an opportunity to win, then it’s something to be proud of.”
This article appeared in the March 12, 2009 issue of the Hatchet.