Devall living the dream

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 22, 2013

BATON ROUGE — Hunter Devall piled up a number of wins as a pitcher for the Centreville Academy baseball team during his four-year career.

Now, the left-handed reliever is at LSU and picking up right where he left off for the Tigers.

Devall picked up his first collegiate victory when he came into LSU’s game with Lamar University in the sixth inning, pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless ball and nailed down a 8-1 win for the Tigers.

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“It’s amazing,” Devall said about his win. “It’s a dream come true. Right now, I am just kind of a reliever, and I never expected (to get a win). It was pretty awesome.”

Devall spent his high school career as a starting pitcher, and he said the move to the bullpen has been an adjustment.

“Mentally, (starting) was easy for me, but it’s been tough coming in relief, especially here in college,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s great to get to throw a few innings and do what you have to do.”

Devall’s appearance against Lamar was his second of the season. He pitched one inning of scoreless ball against Maryland Feb. 17. He also faced one batter in Thursday’s game against BYU, yielding a double.

“My first few college games have been awesome,” he said. “Even more than I expected. The atmosphere at LSU is great. The fan support, my teammates and coaches are awesome. It’s an exciting time of year for us.”

Devall is working solely as a pitcher, and he said at times he misses batting, but he is adjusting to his role.

“I wish I was, but I’m not hitting at all,” he said. “At Centreville I was always in the cage. During the off time I had, I was hitting, taking fly balls or whatever it may be. Now, I’m just a (pitcher only), and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just different for me.”

Devall said he knew he had his work cut out for him when he stepped on the field for offseason work.

“I really didn’t know what my role was going to be coming into spring,” he said. “We have 18 great pitchers here at LSU, and right now I’m a reliever, and we’ll see as the season goes on.”

LSU is 5-0 on the young season, but Devall said the Tigers have their sites set on the big prize.

“Going to Omaha (is our goal) without a doubt,” he said.