UTAH UTES

Utah Closer Micah Ashman Has Perfect Mindset As Lockdown Bullpen Arm

May 1, 2024, 1:24 PM

micah ashman...

Utah Utes junior closer Micah Ashman delivers a pitch during the 2024 season. (Credit to Sophia Kuder, University of Utah Athletics)

(Credit to Sophia Kuder, University of Utah Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY – Being a closer can be one of the loneliest positions in sports. Alone on the mound with your thoughts and a ball, mana a mano against someone 60’6″ away with a club. The game is often on the line, forcing a mindset of attack for a successful bullpen arm. Former Jordan Beetdigger Micah Ashman wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s all about pounding the zone and getting guys out early,” Ashman said. “I’ve learned it’s me vs. you, and let’s see who’s who. I have that mentality to know that I’m better than the guy I’m facing.”

RELATED: Senior Kai Roberts Feeling At Home Leading First-Place Utes

The Pac-12 saves leader took over the closer role as a sophomore and has provided a level of comfort to third-year head coach Gary Henderson.

“It gives me tremendous calm,” Henderson said when talking about Ashman and set-up man Randon Hostert at the back of the bullpen. “They’ve done a great job. They throw strikes and you can count on them to throw strikes. They have the right temperament, and I’m really glad they’re a part of what we are doing.”

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About Micah Ashman

Listed at 6’7 and 195 pounds, the former Jordan High Beetdigger joined the Utes before the 2022 season. Ashman won a baseball state championship during his freshman year and played in the basketball state finals as a sophomore.

“Micah is a dog,” senior centerfielder and former high school basketball foe Kai Roberts said of his teammate. “I love seeing him have the success that he’s having this year. When he comes into the game, everybody’s on the top step to watch him pitch. ”

In his first campaign with the Utes, the lanky lefthander went 2-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 27.1 innings. His 25 appearances (two starts) were the second-most on the team, and his eight games finished was the third-highest mark on the team.

RELATED: Utah Baseball Vaults Into Top 25 After Sweeping UCLA

After nailing down the closer’s job heading into his sophomore season, Ashman proved head coach Gary Henderson prophetic. Ashman earned Pac-12 All-Conference honors and was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch list. The Sandy, Utah native finished the year with nine saves, the most for a Ute since 2016, and was second in the Pac-12.

Ashman entered his junior season with a host of accolades. He was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch list, the NCBWA Preseason All-America Third Team, and Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference. D1Baseball.com rated Ashman the preseason No. 23 prospect in the Pac-12 for the 2024 MLB Draft.

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Utah travels to the Emerald City for a three-game series against the Oregon Ducks (29-14,12-9) beginning on Friday, May 3. First pitch at PK Park on Friday is at 7:05 p.m. MT.

The Utes sit atop the Pac-12 regular season standings, tied with the Arizona Wildcats at 14-7 in conference play. Utah received 11 votes in the latest USU Today Top 25.

You can find KSL Sports coverage of the Utes here.

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Utah Closer Micah Ashman Has Perfect Mindset As Lockdown Bullpen Arm