Two of Truman baseball’s pitchers became program record holders during March for the most innings pitched and the most saves. One is nearly halfway through his senior season, and the other is nearly halfway through his collegiate career.
Truman State pitchers senior Mark Roberts and sophomore Peter Young says breaking personal records is not as important as contributing to the team. but during Midterm Break, the pitching duo did just that — Roberts reached the top of the record books in innings pitched, and Young broke the the record for most saves all-time.
Roberts has had significant playing time in the Bulldogs’ pitching staff since his freshman season during 2013. Throughout his four years, Roberts has climbed the leaderboard in lowest earned run average, lowest opponent batting average, most wins per season and most starts. During this season, Roberts has earned a 2-2 record with 13 strikeouts. He surpassed alumnus Kyle Veazey’s 220.1 inning record March 4 against Bemidji State University. After his outing against Bemidji, Roberts tallied 222.2 innings pitched. This number continues to grow as he finishes his final season as a Bulldog.
Roberts says reaching the record does not mean much to him, but does show his durability during his four years at Truman.
“I’ve been able to perform for four years here,” Roberts says. “I never missed a start. I’m always going to go out there and give my team a chance to win. I think I am someone who can be counted on.”
Although he was aware he was approaching the record, Roberts says he was not focused on breaking it. Rather, he says he was concerned about performing to the best of his ability each time he stepped on the mound. He says he knew the record was attainable but did not let it affect his play.
Roberts credited his success as a Bulldog to his coaches, current teammates and graduated teammates. Roberts says alumni Tim Lee and Josh Derouse helped him learn the process of college baseball.
Roberts says without Head Coach Dan Davis giving him the chance to play as a freshman, he would not have the confidence he has as an upperclassman. Roberts says even as an underclassman, Davis had a lot of faith in him and let him battle through troubles on the mound.
“Freshman year was a trainwreck at times,” Roberts says. “It’s hard to play as a freshman, and it’s a new experience. For me, my freshman year helped me learn how to handle adversity — how to battle through it, overcome it and how to stay confident even when things aren’t going well.”
Roberts has been a team captain for two seasons and says his role has changed from a player on the team to a leader and teacher. He says his experiences throughout his career have prepared him to help the younger pitchers on the roster.
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