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Tech grants Linn his baseball wish

The baseball elf must have been listening to Greg Linn.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers senior pitcher had a wish to play college baseball. That wish came true when he was signed by West Virginia Tech Golden Bears coach Tim Epling.

"I love to play, so I figured to give it my best and see what happened," Linn said. "I was just wanting to play college ball."

Linn was Ironton's winningest pitcher this past season as he posted a 5-1 record with a solid 2.79 earned run average. He struck out 31 and walked just 14 in 27.2 innings as the Fighting Tigers finished the season 14-8.

The highlight of the season for Linn came in the Division III sectional tournament when he threw a no-hitter to beat Chesapeake 1-0. It was Ironton's first no-hitter since 1979 when Jimmy Williams turned the trick twice.

"Greg did a nice job for us," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said. "He did what we asked him to do. He was always around the plate and was a thinking man's pitcher. I think his best baseball is ahead of him."

The 6-foot-6 Linn throws in the mid-80 range, but Epling said that a strong weight training program can help the pitcher pick up even more speed.

"Coach wants me throwing 90 miles an hour or more. If I don't, he said he'd be disappointed," Linn said. "Right now he just wants me to work on my mechanics."

This summer, Linn played with the Huntington (W.Va.) Hounds

and was 1-1 with a 3.10 ERA and two saves mostly in a relief role. Linn had two saves as a junior.

"I haven't talked to coach (Epling) about what he wants me to do. I think I'm better as a starter, but I've done both. It doesn't matter to me. I just like pitching. I like relieving because the pressure is on," Linn said.

Greg is the son of Jeff and Mary Linn of Ironton.