Location is a pitcher’s best friend and it’s the tool that Twiss relies on when he’s on the hill. The senior has been working out with Show pitching coach Jeff Allison this fall and is teammates with fellow UMass commit Scott Hovey of Danvers. His confidence in his cutter is a weapon, and that confidence to throw it in any count helps keep hitters off balance.
“Locating it for a strike is the biggest thing,” Twiss said. “Backdoor on a lefty or inside on a righty, or tailing it off the plate on the two-strike count — I can throw it any count.”
Throwing both the 2- and 4-seam fastball often fools batters because they have the same spin and rotation. A hitter identifies one, and when the ball moves as the other, they can’t make solid contact.
“Will has a lot of movement on his ball. Nothing he throws at you is coming in straight,” said Baril. “He is confident in pitching to contact and players have difficulty squaring it up against him.”
Twiss and the Chieftains have just begun some fall baseball and they’re already looking forward to the spring. Though some key seniors graduated, they have several starters back and want to build on last year’s impressive playoff run.
“We’re hungry and we’re not satisfied,” said Twiss. “We had some great role models last year and want to build on that. I’ve been working out three days a week running when I’m not doing that. Everyday I’m doing something to get better.”
UMass is a reputable baseball program and playing for the Minutemen brings the opportunity to play in the Baseball Beanpot, often contested at Fenway Park. The challenge that comes with being a Division 1 pitcher is one Twiss plans to embrace.
“I can’t look at it as I’m D1, I’m done. I have to maximize my potential no matter what label I have, I have to commit myself to being the best player I can be,” he said. “I can’t ever be satisfied.”