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June 21, 2012

Baseball Athlete of the Year

By: Jimmy Robertson

Clark Labitan | Junior | San Diego, Calif.

Rebounding from an injury that sidelined him for almost two full seasons, Clark Labitan was Virginia Tech’s most reliable reliever out of the bullpen – a quality asset for the Hokies in 2012.

Labitan appeared in 28 games for the Hokies, posting a 6-2 record with three saves. He tossed 45.1 innings of relief, the most for any bullpen pitcher, and struck out 34 batters. His 3.18 ERA was the best among all pitchers who threw more than 31 innings.

He did most of his work in conference games, with 17 appearances, and he led the Hokies with a 3.03 ERA in 32.2 innings. He accounted for six of Tech’s 11 wins in ACC play, earning the win the three games and the save in three others.

His best performance might have been when he allowed just one hit and struck out three batters over the final three frames against No. 6 Miami, allowing the Hokies to register a 5-4 walk-off win over the Hurricanes on April 14.

Overall, Tech’s bullpen was the steady force all year, as the relievers combined for a 3.76 ERA in 225.0 innings pitched, with 220 strikeouts, a 23-4 record and 10 saves. Labitan’s play was obviously a big part of that performance.