Snyder’s Challenge: Staying Loose During Big WVU Innings
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia mid-week starter Nick Snyder enjoyed a pitcher’s dream in the Mountaineers’ rout of Marshall on Wednesday. Before he took the mound, he had a 1-0 lead, and saw that double when he went back out for the bottom of the second. By the time he made his third trip to the mound, he was working with a cushion fit for a sultan – an 11-0 bulge courtesy of a nine-run third that saw 13 Mountaineers traipse to the plate at Appalachian Power Park.
The only negative to that was the wait that Snyder endured on the bench. The first inning wasn’t bad, as WVU sent only five batters to the plate, but the second extended far beyond the time one would expect to account for just one run. Marshall pitchers walked four consecutive Mountaineers and threw 37 pitches in the frame, and along with two mound visits and one pitching change, the top half of the second took almost 30 minutes. The first 1.5 innings accounted for more than an hour of clock time overall.
“It definitely wasn’t easy. I just had to stay locked in,” said Snyder, who picked up his team-best fourth win of the season with the trouncing of the Herd. “You’re not complaining about run support, though.”
In addition to jumping out of the dugout for a few quick throws during the pitching change, Snyder also took advantage of some advanced technology. As WVU batted around in the third, he donned a shoulder heat and stimulation unit from a company called HyperIce, which markets cold and hot therapy products with a digital edge. The one Snyder used is called the Venom Shoulder, which features multiple heat and vibration settings controlled by a digital touch screen.
“Our athletic trainer Cole (Stembridge) has all the cool gadgets,” Snyder said. “That little shoulder heat pad is really good.”
Snyder has been really good, too. In giving West Virginia one of its most reliable midweek starters in several seasons, he has fashioned an ERA of 1.74 in six appearances, five of them starts. Walks have been the only negative so far, as he has issued 13 in 20.2 innings, but he has mostly been able to fight past those to keep opponents off the board. He has 33 strikeouts and has allowed only two extra base hits (both doubles) while limiting opponents to a batting average of just .187.
With seven more mid-week games remaining in the season, Snyder will have plenty additional chances to help his team get wins, which will be critical in the effort to corral a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Along the way, perhaps he’ll have the chance to use some more of those cool gadgets while his teammates pile up more run support.