Harrison's Curveball is the Key to Success

Lansing Lugnuts left-handed pitcher Ben Harrison is an effective middle reliever with a 5.63 ERA. The 23-year-old from Colleyville TX had the lowest ERA in Auburn Double days last year with 1.13 in 32 IP, and therefore was named pitcher of the year.

"I think the reason I was named pitcher of the year was because I did then what I try to do now, which is just go after guys, and try to have fun," said Harrison. "You do those two things and the sky is the limit."

Lugnuts pitching coach Tom Signore said Harrison has come a long way from his Auburn days.

"He was mainly getting by with a cutter, which is effective against right handed batters, but he's having some troubles getting the lefthanders, which with him being a lefthander he will have to do to advance levels in this game," said Signore.

The self proclaimed outdoors-man enjoys hunting both batters and deer, which is his favorite thing about living in Michigan.

Harrison also knows about playing through adversity. Since age eleven he has played baseball with type 1 diabetes.

"It does effect the way you think, you eat and sleep. As far as performance it shouldn't effect me as long as I'm on top of it."

Ask Harrison what his favorite pitch is and his teammates answer for him: cutter.

"Cut fastball is most comfortable to me, and I'm getting to where my change up is comfortable too," said Harrison.

According to Signore, Harrison has also developed a viable curve ball and a two-seam fastball he can run away from righthanders. "So now he's going up there with four weapons instead of just one," said Signore. "Its just a matter of him getting comfortable with all those pitches, which is important because he's not an overpowering guy."

Harrison said he has the ability to out think batters, which is why he likes his role as a middle reliever. But like anyone else, he has things he would like to improve on.

"Consistency night in and night out," said Harrison. "This is going to sound cliche but just to go out there every night and try to do my best, its just that simple."

Although Signore admitted he doesn't like to predict the future, he sees promise in Harrison's pitches.

" In the future he could be used as a guy that comes in just to get one left handed batter out, which is way the development of his curve ball is so important," said Signore.

Signore said Harrison has a good attitude, is a great teammate and is very coach able.

"The kid comes to work everyday," said Signore. "And he's the same guy if he has a good or bad outing."

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