Pitkin’s Garrett Edwards becomes go-to option in LSU’s bullpen

LSU pitcher Garrett Edwards (43)
LSU pitcher Garrett Edwards (43)(Josh Auzenne | WAFB)
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 7:53 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (KALB) - Prior to the start of the 2023 college baseball season, LSU’s Garrett Edwards was uncertain about what his role would be in LSU’s bullpen rotation.

After a successful freshman campaign in Baton Rouge for the former Pitkin star that saw him throw 37 innings of work and post a 3.40 ERA, Edwards was poised to be a feature piece for incoming head coach Jay Johnson to work with.

Unfortunately, as Edwards knows well, life finds a way to throw a curveball when you least expect it. As Edwards entered his sophomore season with the Tigers, he suffered a leg injury that kept him off the mound for the majority of the year. In 2022, Edwards appeared in just nine games and his ERA rose to 6.75.

“He tried to get back,” said Coach Johnson on Edwards’ injury. “He came back too fast and just didn’t have his legs underneath him. His delivery wasn’t right.”

With some uncertainty surrounding what role he would have with the Tigers moving forward, Edwards went back to the basics and sought advice from his high school baseball coach and former LSU Tiger J.C. Holt.

Coach Holt told his big-framed pitcher to stay the course and compete for the job at the school he had always dreamed to be at. With Coach Johnson challenging Edwards with a spot on the active roster on the line, Johnson said his relief pitcher did not blink.

“The biggest thing he did was he dug his toes in, faced adversity and slapped it back,” said Coach Holt. “That to me is winning.”

All Edwards has done since returning from his injury has helped the No. 1 LSU Tigers continue to win. So far in 2023, Edwards has come out of the bullpen eight times, throwing over 20 innings of work. In the majority of those outings, Coach Johnson has put his pitcher in jam situations to which Edwards has responded by getting the Tigers off the field while limiting the damage.

Edwards’ ERA in 2023 is so small it requires reading glasses to see it at 0.87 with also striking out 24 batters in that stretch.

Coach Johnson said the trust Edwards has built has made him the first option out of the bullpen in critical moments.

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