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Devall spends season adjusting to role as relief pitcher for LSU

LSU left-handed reliever Hunter Devall tosses a pitch during a game earlier this season. Devall, a Centreville Academy alumnus, is set to join his team in the SEC baseball tournament this week in Hoover, Ala. (Photo courtesy of LSU Sports Information)
LSU left-handed reliever Hunter Devall tosses a pitch during a game earlier this season. Devall, a Centreville Academy alumnus, is set to join his team in the SEC baseball tournament this week in Hoover, Ala. (Photo courtesy of LSU Sports Information)

BATON ROUGE — Hunter Devall had to get out of his comfort zone in order to adjust to the role of a relief pitcher.

But the adjustment allowed the Centreville Academy alumnus to see playing time as a freshman in college. And considering that he helped LSU reach its regular-season record of most wins (48), it’s an adjustment he’ll take in stride.

“I wasn’t really expecting to throw a whole lot as a freshman,” Devall reflected. “I had some ups and downs with some of my pitches, but other than that I feel good (about my season).”

Devall, who was a starter for two state championship teams at Centreville Academy, said the transition from starter to reliever wasn’t easy.

“I got used to it as the season went on,” he said. “In the beginning of the season, it was tough. It’s a totally different mindset. You have to be able to come in and pitch in any situation, and sometimes you don’t have very long to warm up.”

But the results have been good for Devall. He currently has a 2.65 earned run average. Other than the different mindset, he said preparation to pitch was the biggest thing to which he had to adjust.

“I believe it’s harder to get ready (for games),” Devall said. “You only have so much time to get ready in the pen. As a starter, you can go out there and stretch it out before a game.”

When he got to LSU, Devall said his coaches had him working on his breaking ball the most.

“I took the whole summer off (last year), so I sort of lost it, and I’ve been trying to get it back the whole year,” Devall said of his breaking pitch. “I think I’m getting there, but I still have a little ways to go.”

Being a part of a team that set the record of regular-season wins, Devall said it’s an honor to have been a part of something so special.

“It’s definitely special,” he said. “Coming into your first year and breaking several records as a team is something that will go down in history and something that’s great to be a part of. It’s pretty cool.”

But there’s still work to be done, as the Tigers will enter the SEC Tournament this week as the No. 2 seed.

“I don’t really know a whole lot about the tournament, because I’ve never been there, but it’s going to be tough,” Devall said. “We’re going to have to use a lot of guys.”

Devall is the son of Dennis and Jana Devall.

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