Pitcher’s Perspective: UNC’s Bukauskas

Analysis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — J.B. Bukauskas and North Carolina started the weekend in the Sunshine State with a series-opening win over Florida State.

For the fifth time this year, the win was attributable to a star-studded performance by Bukauskas. The junior righthander went seven strong innings, allowing just one run. Bukauskas has been stellar all season, and silencing this Florida State lineup should not be taken lightly as an accomplishment. The Seminoles sent out a lineup that consisted of six lefthanded hitters to best Bukauskas, but still fell short.

With the win, Bukauskas moved to a perfect 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 70 strikeouts over just seven starts. He struck out 10 ‘Noles, which is right on par with his average per start. The three hits allowed were scattered, and Bukauskas would have held the Seminoles scoreless for the night if it weren’t for a pair of hit batters and a wild pitch in the seventh inning. After week three, we discussed what makes the Seminole lineup so dangerous. Fast forward four weeks, and now I am going to breakdown just what it takes to silent that same lineup by analyzing Bukauskas.

Bukauskas stands at 6-foot, and tips the scales just north of 200 pounds. He appears much more physical than what the paper reads, however. His fastball floated in the 94-95 mph range for much of the night and was even up to 97-98 at the end of his start, and that is thanks in large part to his lower body strength. The righthander has a simplistic, deliberate windup before showcasing quick-twitch, explosive action in his delivery. His arm action is short and quick, and his release point is over the top. Although elite velocity certainly helped Bukauskas tonight, it takes much more than that to keep the Seminoles quiet.


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