Judy jumps to third place all-time for strikeouts

Alex Pepke, Sports Editor

Deven Judy, a pitcher for Gannon University’s baseball team, has had himself quite a career. After 26 career starts, he has established himself as one of the most feared pitchers in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).

Although Judy is listed at 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds and fits the profile of a speedy outfielder or a middle infielder, he has solidified his place on the mound, putting up the numbers of an ace during his time in Erie.

Judy, who has racked up 201 career strikeouts, is only the third Gannon pitcher to eclipse 200. His four complete game shutouts are good for the second most all-time at Gannon, and his 3.82 earned run average (ERA) currently ranks third.

Although he’s confident in his abilities, Judy never thought he would be able strike out  this many hitters at Gannon.

“It’s awesome, especially since I never came into Gannon thinking I would ever reach such a number,” Judy said. “Coming to Gannon, I would’ve been more than happy to throw a handful of innings over the season, let alone 60 of them.”

He has thrown 160.1 innings in his career, which is the ninth most by a Gannon player, and is also top 10 in wins  with 13.

“Being on the top of so many categories feels amazing too, since people will look at those numbers in the future and know that I was one of the top pitchers at Gannon,” Judy said. “Whenever I came into the program, I thought I was going to be nothing.”

Judy has already solidified himself as one of the better pitchers to ever come through Gannon’s program, and he’s done this while only being able to pitch in three games in the 2020 season, which was cut short due to COVID-19.

As a freshman, he initially appeared as a closer, even recording three saves. But it was obvious that he was more useful as a starter. In 2019 as a sophomore, he went 8-0 with a 2.49 ERA and 96 strikeouts, which is a program record for a single season.

That 2019 season led to multiple awards including being named to the All-PSAC West first team and the ABCA All-Atlantic Region first team.

Even in his abbreviated 2020 season, he had a 2.81 ERA after three starts.

This year, after a slow start, he completed his first dominant outing of the year when he threw a complete game, 12-strikeout shutout against rival Mercyhurst March 26.

Although his numbers have been great in all four seasons he has pitched in, he thinks he has improved a lot as a pitcher, especially mentally.

“Sophomore year I ended up reading a book about the mental game of baseball after Steve Grilli, Jason Grilli’s dad, recommended it,” Judy said. “I realized just how important the mental side of pitching is and I feel that over my sophomore year the mental aspect of my game improved immensely.”

He has without a doubt put together an impressive resume, and in 2021, Gannon’s ace will try to lead the Knights to the PSAC playoffs. There’s no doubt he will get the ball in big games, where he has shown he can produce and give the team a chance to win on any given day.

With 20 games left in the regular season, he has a chance to challenge the late Aaron Cox’s program record of 251 career strikeouts. Even if he doesn’t break that record, he has a good chance to pass Greg Radwan’s 215 strikeouts, which would put Judy in second place.

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