Our 12th best reliever in the 2017 Valley League season is Charlottesville’s Layne Looney!
Layne, a 5-foot-10 righthander from Richmond, was all but unhittable this summer:
Of all the pitchers surveyed for this list, Layne finished 2nd in batting average against and strikeouts per 9 innings, thanks to those 40 K’s in only 23 1/3 innings pitched.
Interestingly, Layne gave up 6 earned runs all summer, but 5 of them came in one game. Take out that game (which isn’t fair to do, really, I know), he gave up 1 earned run in 21 innings! (The hard-hitting New Market Rebels hung that 5-spot on Layne on June 7th, but he also struck out 5 batters in the 2 1/3 innings as well.)
Looney struck out 5 batters in a relief stint five times. The first was the aforementioned June 7th appearance. On June 29th, he struck out 5 Winchester Royals in 3 innings. On July 12th, he struck out 7 Harrisonburg Turks in 3 innings; 5 days later, he struck out 6 Staunton Braves in 3 innings, and then on July 21st, he struck out 5 Covington ‘Jacks in, again, 3 innings. Whoa.
Here are his stats for the Spiders in his first two college seasons:
Note: in 2017, Layne was mostly a starter; he started 14 out of his 15 appearances.
Congratulations on your excellent summer, Layne!