Will Navy’s Song Go Pro Or Serve In Military? 0

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Noah Song is one of the remarkable stories of college baseball.

The righthanded pitcher for the U.S. Naval Academy recently struck out 16 batters over 6 innings against Air Force as he was named one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of The Week.

In fact, over the first four innings, all 12 outs were via the strikeout.

His performance ranks fifth all-time in the Navy record book, and he is just one of three pitchers at Navy to reach the 16-strikeout milestone in a game since 1968.

On the season, he has fanned 30 batters with 6 walks over 18 innings in 3 appearances as he has registered a 2-1 record.

During the 2017 season, he struck out 89 batters with 26 walks in 13 outings.

As a freshman in 2016, he mowed down 57 batters as he posted a 9-3 record and 2.75 ERA as he was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

Last summer, he had a brief personal leave before heading to military training and summer school as he pitched in the Cape Cod Baseball League.

He was the first Navy player since Mitch Harris in 2007 to play in the league as he suited up for the Harwich Mariners and finished with a line of 10 innings pitched and 3 runs allowed with 9 strikeouts.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder from Claremont, Calif. has enjoyed every second of his training with the U.S. Naval Academy along with his time with the baseball team.

The greatest experience was his 16-strikeout performance recently.

“When I stuck out 12 batters in four innings and 16 over the six innings, it was something I had never approached before,” said Song.

“I had incredible focus that game as I pitched in Florida against Air Force. It made me realize what it takes to pitch on that level. So it was a wonderful learning experience to get those types of outs.

“Frankly, I was just trying to collect outs and not strike anybody out. If outs are by a fly ball, ground-out or strikeout, they are all fine with me. The object is to get outs and give our team a chance to win.”

Because of the large strikeout total, he didn’t get as deep into the game as he would have preferred.

“My pitch count really snuck up on me in that game. I felt great and was nice and loose with it being warm for a night game.

“But before I knew it, I was at 98 pitches, and my outing was over. That was probably the best performance I have ever had.

“It was enjoyable as far as locking in and having a great mental performance. I have never, ever been that locked in.

“It may be a maturity thing as well. It was an entirely new level and caliber of baseball that I pitched at. I wasn’t playing to the score or to the opponent. I was playing to my own game and trying to collect outs and throw each pitch well.”

Song explained his pitching repertoire.

“I throw a 4-seam fastball, 2-seam fastball, changeup, slider and curve. Most of the time I throw 4-seam fastballs. But occasionally I throw 2-seam fastballs to lefthanded hitters because the pitch has a little bit of run.

“The highest velocity I have ever touched with my fastball was 98 mph this year. But that was flashed once or twice. On my best days, I work at 94-95 mph with a couple flashes of 96 or 97 mph. On colder days, my velocity will be down a little bit. But I always compete with what I have on a given outing.

“My slider is around the 82-83 mph range. I am trying to get a little bit more tilt with it. My curve is exceptionally slow at about 70-72 mph. My changeups works anywhere from 80-81 mph.”

To read more of this story, purchase the March 23, 2018 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

The rest of the story explains how he works on the command of his pitches, how he became one of the rare Navy baseball players to pitch in the Cape Cod League last summer, his grueling daily schedule with the Naval Academy and a look at his status for the Major League Draft and whether he must serve his military commitment or not.