Cronin adjusting to life as a college pitcher at Arkansas

Matt Cronin made his college baseball debut for Arkansas in March at the Frisco Classic in Texas. He came into the game against Nebraska in the final inning and, interestingly enough, he wasn’t nervous.

“I wouldn’t say I was nervous,” Cronin said. “The only problem I had was getting over excited and not wanting to overthrow.”

It worked out in the end. Cronin did not allow a run or a hit and he struck out two in a game the Razorbacks won 15-5.

“It was a great experience. I was able to come in and finish the game,” Cronin said. “My parents were there. I had a lot of fun.”

Cronin has remained a pitcher Arkansas can turn to throughout this season. The former Navarre standout is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in nine appearances and has rung up 21 strikeouts.

“It’s going good,” Cronin said. “It’s a lot different from high school. You are more specialized at your position. There are more coaches who focus on just one or two things.”

That specialization has proven valuable to Cronin, who has worked a lot this season with Wes Johnson, the pitching coach for the Razorbacks.

“He is my first true pitching coach,” Cronin said. “He doesn’t work on mechanics with me too much, but he has taught me more about other parts of being a pitcher, like being quick to the plate with a runner on. There are a lot of little things you need to do right to be successful.”

The time put into becoming a better pitcher has paid off for the left-handed freshman.

“I was over striding at times and losing control of my fastball,” Cronin said. “I’ve been able to shorten my stride and locate my pitches better.”

Read the full article in the May 18 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

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