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Ex-Ad pitcher ‘the key’ as Vols’ Friday starter

Tennessee Baseball’s version of Greg Maddux, former All-State Farragut Admiral pitcher Craig Cobb, is “the key” as Friday’s penciled-in starter for SEC series starting in March.

But just how good is this 22-year-old senior who Volunteer head coach Rod Delmonico said could be mistaken for “the equipment manager?”

He later added that Cobb “wants to kill somebody” if he gives up a run.

“He’s one of the best pitchers I’ve ever coached,” Delmonico said. “He might be the best pitcher, for the word ‘pitcher.’ Knowing how to pitch, knowing how to set up hitters. Especially when you factor in he only throws eighty-one to eighty-three [mph]. He’s beat just about everybody in the conference.

“He’s like Greg Maddux, he can put the ball where he wants,” the coach added. “He’s got an unbelievable change-up. His curve ball is just O-K. His other pitches are average, but his control of his fastball is outstanding.”

An ABCA All-South Region second-team selection who was named to's All-SEC second team last season, Cobb finished with a 9-3 record, one save and a team-best 3.31 earned run average.

In 26 appearances, including 10 starts, Cobb recorded 64 strikeouts and 21 walks in 111.1 innings of work in 2006. He led the team with a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

As for drive, “He demands more out of himself than I demand out of him,” Delmonico said. “He’s a fiery, competitive individual. When he gives up a hit, he’s upset. And if he gives up another hit, he’s really mad. That’s why he’s such a successful player.”

As for being “the key” on Fridays in SEC play, “How we start a series is very important … sets the tone for the series,” the coach said. Craig, if he can go out there and pitch the way he’s pitched, he gives us and opportunity to win every time out.”

Starting the Vols’ season-opener of a three-game series versus No. 13-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee Friday, Feb. 2, Cobb said going against one of the nation’s better teams “won’t be anything new. There’s not a situation I’ve not been in yet.” UT is No. 11.

His goal? “I’d like to put up double-digit wins this year,” Cobb said.

See future profiles of other Vol baseball players who are former FHS standouts — sophomore starting third baseman Cody Brown, redshirt sophomore catcher Scott Dean and freshman pitcher Bryan Powell — along with ex-Webb School outfielder, redshirt freshman Brian Bibee.


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