Andrew Lane is not a figure that would scare most opposing hitters. He's not someone who is going to dominate opposing hitters with 95 mile per hour fastballs.
But effective he is, and dominating is what he's become as the main middle reliever out of the bullpen for the ‘Canes as they look to get back to Omaha for the third straight year.
Lane, a junior from Killian High School, struggled earlier in his career with coming out of the bullpen.
After posting a 2-1 record as a freshman with a 4.50 ERA, Lane's career seemingly took a bit of a dive during a sophomore season that saw him pitch only six innings. He had a 2.84 ERA, but only appeared in 12 games and had a .357 batting average against him.
"I've worked really hard over the summer and fall," Lane said. "I struggled last year. It was important for me to gain confidence in myself. I've got that now and am throwing the ball really well."
And the numbers back it up.
With the ‘Canes sitting at 22-7 overall and 8-4 in the ACC Lane has appeared in 19 games, more games than he appeared in in his first two seasons at UM.
He's pitched 22.2 innings, the most innings he's pitched in one season since he's been at UM.
Lane is 1-0 with a 1.99 ERA and has 22 strikeouts and opponents are only hitting .207 against him this year.
"Coming here I knew I would be coming out of the bullpen," Lane said. "I like it better than I used to cause I wasn't doing that well, but I welcome the challenge. I get a chance to pitch in a lot more games and come in situations where I have to get the guys out."
And he's done it plenty this season only giving up 18 hits in 87 at-bats against him while walking only six batters.
Lane's also getting the pleasure of pitching great in front of his family and hometown.
Growing up in Miami, Lane grew up watching the ‘Canes wishing to be a Hurricane.
"I grew up watching J.D. Arteaga (now Miami's pitching coach)," Lane said. "I always wanted to come here. It was a dream to come here. When I signed here, I couldn't believe it. I still sometimes just sit back and look around, looking at my shirt, seeing the U on my chest, cause it's hard to believe at times that I am here."
But it's the real deal for Lane and he's been the real deal for the ‘Canes this year, something they'll continue need while they fight for that opportunity to get back to Omaha.
With middle relief being such a key ingredient on a championship team, the ‘Canes have a good confident middle reliever in Lane who relishes the opportunity to get the big out.
Listed at 5-foot-9 in the Hurricanes media guide, the southpaw uses a change of speeds to get opponents out.
As a freshman, he pitched in the CWS facing Texas. He longs for that chance again.
"I am really looking forward to getting the chance to go back to Omaha," Lane said. "I dream everyday about getting that last out in the championship game and bringing the CWS title home and getting the job done."
And his newfound confidence will be the reason he gets it done.
Andrew Lane Leading Bullpen
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