Cummings flying high

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The former Oxford Hills star is closing out a stellar career with the Franklin Pierce College Ravens.

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Tyler Cummings’s college baseball career is finishing the way it started – on a winning note.

“I’ve had a lot of confidence lately,” said the Franklin Pierce College senior from South Paris. “We’re a real good defensive team (and) a real good offensive team and that makes it easy to have that confidence going into every game.

The Ravens have to feel pretty confident whenever the big (6-foot-4) right-hander is on the hill. He became the Division II power’s all-time career wins leader earlier this seaon and hasn’t lost a game since.

“That was an honor because I knew the guys ahead of me (on the all-time list) real well,” he said. “They’re good athletes and it’s just good to be a part of that group and hopefully now they see me as a great athlete as well.

He picked up his 24th career victory earlier this week with a complete game effort against St. Anselm’s that upped his record on the season to 7-1 while dropping his ERA to a minuscule 1.49.

The former Oxford Hills star is now the mainstay of the Franklin Pierce staff. That’s not a big surprise considering that four years ago he made an immediate impact on the team, earning a win in the Division II World Series on his way to a career-high eight wins his freshman year.

“After the year he had his freshman year, we thought the sky was the limit because he won so many big games,” said head coach Jayson King. “Then he had the injury, which set him back a little bit, but this year he’s come out and done a great job the entire season.”

Elbow tenidinitis hindered Cummings his sophomore year, limiting him to just three starts and three wins. But the injury may have been a blessing in disguise for the long term.

“It was really tough,” he said, “but I learned to really work so I don’t get that injury again, and it forced me to work on mechanical things and arm strength and pay attention to little things, stuff that I didn’t do in the past.”

Armed with a change-up he honed while pitching during the summer for the Concord Quarry Dogs of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, Cummings bounced back with a outstanding junior year, going 6-4 with a 2.12 ERA.

This year, he’s getting stronger as the season unfolds. He’s thrown back-to-back complete games for the 16th-ranked Ravens and allowed just two earned runs in his last 33 IP.

In short, Cummings is pitching like a man on a mission.

“Anything less than a national championship, in my mind, is going to be a downer,” he said. “I expect big things for this team.”


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