Renz gave up only two walks the entire season, ranking him first in Division III (0.31), and managed only four 3-0 counts all year. He garnered the top spot in his class for strikeouts-to-walks ratio, whiffing 33 opposing batters while giving up those two paltry free passes. He tied Joe Frankosky of Western Connecticut for first with a 5.0 margin in his nine starts.
His fielding percentage was 1.000, handling 22 chances with six putouts and 16 assists, and he held opposing hitters to a miniscule .229 mark.
In other words the gamble has more than paid off, but how and why?
"My pitching coach, Brett Stout, really pushed me hard and I watched plenty of tape on Greg Maddux and how he approached pitching in the professional ranks," Renz said. "I learned the importance of location and never wasting a pitch. Plus, I finally was healthy and able to throw pain-free."
Kushner also points to Renz's ability to throw all three of his pitches for strikes and his unbelievable concentration while on the mound.
"Mitch has great command of his fastball and his change-up was phenomenal," Kushner said. "He's great at concentrating when he has to make that big pitch, and, on those rare occasions when he needs that something extra, he can step behind the mound and take a deep breath to control his emotions and then throw that big pitch for a strike.
"He also was able to learn while watching from the sidelines as a freshman, learning the importance of pacing yourself as a starter in comparison to a reliever."
Renz's desire to try to make a career for himself on the collegiate level came after playing travel ball with the Lehigh Valley Baseball Academy and observing the passion of the players on the squad as they competed against players from Division I during the summer.