On a team that had some hitting, it was the pitching that let them down – but if the starters could get it to the bullpen, two players were back there to ensure victory was sealed.
Tim Didjurgis went 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 25 relief appearances for the Owlz. He held the opposition to a .232 average against and during a 20-game stretch of the season held batters to a .189 average against.
Selected in the 35th round of the 2005 draft, Didjurgis was even more impressive with runners on base. He allowed just 15 hits in 88 at bats with runners on and nine hits in 62 at bats with runners in scoring position, a .145 average.
Didjurgis, who features a slider that is above average, racked up 55 strikeouts in 46.2 innings while walking 18.
Kevin Lynch was just as dominant, going 1-1 with a 1.71 ERA and nine saves in 31.2 innings of work. In his first 18 outings, spanning 23.1 innings, he surrendered just two earned runs and held the opposition to a .159 average against.
A 25th round selection by the Angels in ’05, Lynch struck out 34 and walked nine while with the Owlz. As with Didjurgis, the right-hander was on the mark with runners on base, giving up ten hits in 53 at bats and seven hits in 39 at bats with runners in scoring position. He also allowed just one hit in eight at bats with the bases loaded and only allowed one run total in such situation
On the starting front, Daniel Hawkins, signed as a free agent in May, had a solid year. The 6-foot-3 right-hander went 6-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 16 games, ten starts. He struck out 58 while walking 23 in 59.2 innings.
Featuring a fastball, curveball combination that has been cited as above average, Hawkins had one bad month that skewed his numbers. In July, he went 3-1 with a 6.33 ERA and .321 average against only to come back and post a 1.84 ERA over the final two months of the year, spanning 34.1 innings. His average against during that time was a slim .194.
His best attribute was limiting the damage. He held the opposition to a .159 average against with runners in scoring position and that number dropped to .065 with RISP and two outs. It was a sharp contrast to the .289 average batters posted against him when the bases were empty.
While Hawkins had his moments, Lynch provided the Owlz with a measure of consistency in the bullpen and either nailed the door shut or maintained the lead for the Orem squad, thus winning this year’s Orem Pitcher of the Year.