RICHMOND, Va. – It doesn’t take long for Matt Lees to go from bullpen observer to shutdown reliever. The senior lefty says it requires a little more than a dozen warm-up tosses before he’s game-ready.
The routine, which he’s compressed over the years, has served him well. No one has made more appearances out of the VCU bullpen the last four years than Lees.
“I love it,” says the ever-ready lefty. “It definitely brings a lot of confidence to the team when they see I can run out there on one days rest or no days rest. It gives them a real boost.”
This year, once warm, Lees has been red hot.
In 12 appearances this season, covering 18 1/3 innings, Lees is 4-0 and has not surrendered a run. It’s been a boost for VCU (13-10), which found itself short on arms at times last year, but has watched Lees help anchor a staff that ranks second in the A-10 in ERA (2.95).
Lees, who ranks fourth in school history with 19 saves, has enjoyed plenty of success as a Ram, but this recent streak has been especially gratifying for the Richmond native, whose senior season was once in doubt. Just a few months ago, Lees and the VCU coaching staff weren’t sure what he’d deliver this season.