In the offseason, Tim Elliott developed the biggest key to his success in 2019: confidence.
On Tuesday, Elliott crafted another strong midweek start in Georgia's 11-1 win over Georgia State. For the fourth time this season, Elliott went at least five innings, something he’s accomplished in each of his starts this season.
Elliott threw five innings of shutout baseball, giving up three hits and striking out six in his second consecutive week starting against Georgia State. Elliott said that building up his confidence has been one of the driving factors to his jump in success.
“As you get older and start throwing harder, your arm changes and you have to learn your pitches all over again,” Elliott said. “I know my pitches, I know what works and what feels good. I have a lot more confidence in that so it really helps.”
Through his first two years as a Bulldog, Tim Elliott was sparingly used in the pitching rotation. As a freshman, Elliott was solely a reliever and appeared in 15 games. In 2018, not a lot changed. Elliott finished the season 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA, but only made 11 appearances and threw 21 total innings. However, his coaches always knew what his potential could be.
“It’s learning by failure,” head coach Scott Stricklin said. “That’s how you get better at something, if you’re not very good at it you try again. Timmy’s a hard worker and he’s got really good stuff. He just kept going out there and kept believing that it’s going to happen for him.”
When Elliott came to Athens from Loganville High School, he was a lanky 6-foot-1, 170-pound pitcher. 35 pounds of muscle later, Elliott now scales in at 205 pounds and credits his growing strength for part of the confidence.
On Tuesday, Elliott commanded his fastball and held his velocity steady in the lower 90s on a chilly night. Since Elliott faced the Panthers just last week, he asked pitching coach Sean Kenny if they would attack differently. Kenny said no, and told Elliott to go out and mimic his six innings from last Wednesday.
“My stuff is better than theirs and I’m going to do the best I can,” Elliott said. “We got the job done and pretty much didn’t change the approach at all.”
Elliott was on cruise control for most of his outing before hitting some trouble in the fifth inning. He got two quick outs but then issued back-to-back walks and a single to load the bases. Elliott ended the frame by dialing up his sixth strikeout of the night to escape the jam unscathed.
Now, through four starts, Elliott has a 3-1 record on the bump and has dropped his ERA to a strong 0.32.
“The confidence is probably the biggest reason why he is where he is right now,” Stricklin said. “He believes that he is a really good pitcher. And he is, and we’ve always believed that, that’s just something he had to buy into…He deserves everything he’s getting.”