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Ex-Knight Hurler Eric Young of Delaware Earns Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week Honors.

March 5, 2012

Senior Right-Hander from Redlands, California Has Not Allowed an Earned Run Over 24 Innings Pitched to Start Season

Ex-Knight Hurler Eric Young of Delaware Earns Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week Honors.

Eric Young (pictured) knows the eye-popping numbers he posted in his first three starts this season can't last forever.

But the University of Delaware right-hander, a three-year Corvallis Knights veteran (2009-11), will keep rolling the dice and ride his hot streak for as long as humanly possible.

"EY" is 2-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA over three starts. He's allowed just 10 hits in 24 innings, the only run he's allowed was unearned, and he recorded 19 strikeouts and just three walks, and a sparkling 6.3:1 strikeout/walk ratio.

"I wasn't really a pitcher in high school so this is definitely the hottest streak I've been on," said Young, a 21-year-old senior from Redlands East Valley High in Redlands, Calif., who became the Blue Hens' top starter in 2011, his first season in Newark after two years at Riverside City College.

"I know it's kind of unrealistic to try and think I will be able to sustain this pace over the course of the season. But right now I'm more just focused on trying to stay in the moment and trying not to get too far ahead of myself.

"I think that staying consistent in my preparation and with my mental preparation will be keys for my continued success."

Young wasted little time this spring demonstrating he was ready to take a step forward from his 2011 campaign (5-2 W/L, 4.00 ERA, 13 starts) on and off the field.

First, he was named a co-captain. Then, when the season finally started, Young began posting zero after zero.

* He stymied University of Houston on two hits through seven innings on Feb. 18 and left the game with a 5-0 advantage. He got a non-decision, though, when the Cougars roughed up the bullpen and rallied for a 7-5 win.

* He then blanked The Citadel on three hits through eight innings in a 5-0 victory on Feb. 24. He struck out six, and was named the Colonial Athletic Association's Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 28.

* Young then went the distance in a 4-1 victory over Fairfield on March 2. He struck out seven, allowed just five hits, didn't issue a walk, and the Stags' lone run was unearned.

Young said his ability to command his fastball has been the biggest factor in his success.

"Being able to locate the fastball in the bottom half of the zone in any count has been huge," he said. "Also, being able to throw my secondary pitches for strikes in power-hitting counts has allowed me to keep hitters honest and guessing.

"This year I have found ways to get outs even when I don't feel I have my best stuff. That's just a product of staying in the moment, making adjustments quickly, and living pitch by pitch.

"I've always been a starter so I've always been used to starting. I think I'm just now starting to figure out how to prepare every day to be ready to start every Friday."

Young was primarily a reliever for the Knights, as he started just five times in 53 career appearances. He was 3-4 with four saves and 66 strikeouts in 82.1 innings overall with Corvallis.

His 53rd and final appearance might have been his most memorable. He pitched the final inning of an 11-4 victory over Walla Walla in Game 2 of the West Coast League Championship Series, and thus was on the bottom of the Knights' celebratory dogpile.

"I hope all is well in Corvallis and I really appreciate all that the Knights have done for me," he said.