EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville senior pitcher Gannon Burns is off to a very good start for the 2022 season, and against Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin Catholic on Monday afternoon at Tom Pile Field, Burns allowed only one run and three hits while striking out six in the Tigers' 9-1 win over the Cyclones.
Burns pitched very well on the day and had wanted to go out for the sixth inning. One problem though.
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"I feel pretty good," Burns said during a postgame interview. "I wanted that last sixth inning, but (pitching coach Mike Sabatino) told me no," he said with a laugh.
Everything aside, Burns was able to throw strikes consistently, having the SH-G batters guessing all day and was able to get the outs with his curve ball, which was his most effective pitch.
"I think my breaking balls, I was throwing them for strikes early in the count," Burns said, "and they weren't really swinging at them, so I could get ahead easy and then, just finish them off."
The Tigers got all the runs they needed in the third, scoring five times in the inning as Burns cruised along. The run support means a lot to him, and is very appreciative of his team's offense.
"It's easy to pitch when I know that they're going to put up runs for me," Burns said, "and I can just throw strikes and they're going to field it, too."
Burns is off to a tremendous start on the season and is currently 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA, allowing only eight hits in 11 innings pitched. walking only one while striking out seven. He's only been charged with three wild pitches and has hit five batsmen and opposing teams are hitting .186 against him.
"I think it's good to get off to a good start," Burns said. "I think last year, my worst couple of starts were at the beginning of the year, so it's good to get off to a good start."
And as the calendar is about to turn into April, the competition is set to begin heating up as the Tigers face their Southwestern Conference schedule. Burns has a very simple plan for the upcoming games.
"Just all I've gotta do for this team, really, throw strikes," Burns said. "Our defense is good enough to where they'll put it in play and they'll field it for me."
Of course, Burns will continue to go along as pitch as well as he can for the Tigers, and he also has some big plans for later on in the year.
"I think I just want to be able to go out there every time and compete," Burns said, "and get deep into the postseason."