From bullpen to Friday night starter

Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Former Warrior standout Matt Holt had a big freshman season in baseball at La Salle University in the spring.

Nansemond River is a year removed from its first 5A baseball state championship in school history. Since June of last year, the Warriors have had several of their seniors from last year go on to have strong starts in college. Holt is just another example.

“I think that shows what a well-developed team we had my senior year,” he said. “Almost everyone went off to play college ball.”

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At La Salle, Holt started out as one of the bullpen arms, and then progressed into the Friday night starter. As a freshman, he had a record of 2-3. His most notable performances came against Delaware and Penn. Against Penn, he pitched seven innings and threw six strikeouts. That game was played in the same park where the Philadelphia Phillies play. Against Delaware, he pitched six innings with eight strikeouts and only four hits allowed.

Holt didn’t believe he needed to make a big adjustment to play on the college level. Playing for Nansemond River’s state championship team helped put him in a position that no matter where he played, he felt confident in his abilities.

“My pitching coach at Nansemond River really helped me,” Holt said. “He really helped me develop my mechanics so that when I arrived at La Salle, I could pitch to the best of my ability and without injury.”

The biggest thing Holt said he learned in his first year of NCAA Division I college baseball is time management. Many people think the adjustment comes on the playing field, but it often doesn’t.

Holt says he gets up at 4:30 a.m. for a 5 a.m. lift. From there, he has class from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then practice from 3:30 to 6 p.m. After practice, there is study hall from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

“My schedule and time really made me think about every decision that I made on a daily basis,” he said.

Though La Salle went 10-41, Holt received a lot of individual accolades. He was a part of the A-10 All-Rookie team and was the Rookie of the Year for the Big 5 Conference. The Big 5 is a conference combined of the top 5 colleges in the Philadelphia area. His goal this year was to actually win ROTY for either the A-10 or the Big-5 Conference.

“I feel honored to receive these awards,” Holt said. “I couldn’t have done it without the endless support of my teammates and coaches.”

Receiving those awards have motivated Holt to accomplish more in his sophomore year. He plans on stepping into a bigger leadership role and also wants to be able to lead the pitching staff to a major run. Holt also wants to sharpen his pitches so he can continue to compete at the Division I level.