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|Janway makes his pitch at SLU|
Southeastern Louisiana sophomore pitcher Josh Janway of Baton Rouge never passes up a chance to visit his grandparents in Vidalia.
"I love this place," Janway said. "This part of the country is absolutely beautiful and when you have three bodies of water within 20 miles it makes me want to do a lot of fishing."
Janway is the son of Neal and Gaila Janway, the oldest of three children.
Gaila is the daughter of Ken and Golda Ensminger of Vidalia.
"I'm doing a lot of hunting and fishing here," said Janway, who is helping his grandfather at Ken's Honey.
Janway also spent time in Vidalia when he was in high school getting tips from his uncle, Alan Ensminger, who was a standout football and baseball player at Vidalia High and has been a high school head coach in both sports. He is currently assistant football and head track coach at Minden High.
"I talked to Alan a lot about the recruiting process and he would help me work on fundamentals at the baseball park in Vidalia when I was younger," Janway said. "He has helped me in a lot of ways."
The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Janway, who is majoring in Kinesiolgy, uses four pitches -- fastball, change-up, curve ball and slider.
The right-handed pitcher was clocked at 91 miles per hour on his fastball this past season.
"As a pitcher, once you are handed the ball, you never want to give it back," Janway said. "You don't want to come out until that coach pulls you. As a starter, you go in thinking you are pitching nine innings and every time you go out you give 100 percent each inning."
While he enjoys starting, Janway relishes the role of setting up the closer or closing out.
"You have to have a tougher mentality," he said. "The first year in the bullpen I loved that. Coming in with guys in scoring position with one out and closing it door or setting it up for the closer. I liked that."
Janway was impressive enough as a freshman to earn the spot of Sunday starter, but was moved to the bullpen this past year for the Lions.
As a freshman, Janway recorded a 4-2 record on the mound and led all starters with a 4.50 earned run average. He allowed 64 hits, the lowest among the Lion starters. Janway finished third on the team in innings pitched (60.0) and starts (10) and earned first collegiate victory at Louisiana-Lafayette, going a season-high 5.2 innings in relief with five strikeouts.
Janway earned the start in his next appearance against Mississippi Valley, fanning a season-high seven batters and allowing two hits in 5.1 innings. He pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs in a victory at Texas-San Antonio and earned his first collegiate save against Sam Houston State, tossing 3.1 innings and scattering six hits with two strikeouts. He pitched three innings in relief, allowing one earned run to earn a win over Northwestern State in the Southland Conference Tournament. "When I got to Southeastern in the fall I had to adjust to the system and college baseball," Janway said. "I kind of had a goal of how many innings I wanted to pitch, but I wasn't expecting to pitch 60 and be the Sunday starter my freshman year. The coaches told me they didn't care about my numbers, all they were concerned with was winning. All the numbers will fall into place if you are winning."
Southeastern finished 40-19 this past season, starting out the year with 11 straight wins, including two straight over Mississippi State.
The Lions finished 21-12 in conference, losing to McNeese in the Southland Conference opener, 8-7, before defeating Corpus Christi, 10-4. McNeese ended Southeastern's season with a 5-4 win in the tournament.
Bryn Thompson belted a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning as McNeese State rallied from a 4-1 deficit for the win.Janway, making his third start of the season, pitched a season-high 7.1 innings for Southeastern scattering seven hits and allowing two earned runs.
"We started out really hot," Janway said. "But we hit a slump in the middle of the year and it took a while to bounce back. We started clicking before the tournament, but lost a couple of heartbreakers to McNeese."
Janway finished with the second-lowest ERA on the team for the second straight year at 3.07. He had a 3.07 earned run average, making 27 appearances, including three starts. He had six saves, pitched 58.2 innings, struck out 49 batters and walked 19.
"I battled through some tendinitis in the middle of the season," Janway said. "I had a 1.09 ERA at one point before a gave up a couple of runs. I thought I had a good year."
Janway knows his position is vital to the team.
"You are the only guy who can control the whole outcome," he said. "If you are keeping the ball low and hitting the corners in and out, you are going to be very effective. But if you leave the ball up around the belt and don't hit your spot, you are going to get tattooed."
Janway said the position is just as much mental as physical.
Janway was part of a state championship football team and state championship baseball team his senior year at Parkview Baptist in Baton Rouge. He earned four letters in baseball and three in football. He was named all-Metro, all-District and all-State in baseball and was named all-District in football.
"It's a nice school and it's always been a baseball power," Janway said. "I knew we would always have a great team. M.L. Woodruff is one of the best ever."
Woodruff retired as head baseball coach at Parkview Baptist after his team lost to E.D. White in the Class 3A quarterfinals last month. He has more than 600 career wins and 11 state titles.
Woodruff said of all the players he has coached, Janway is in the top 10 as far as being most competitive.
"Josh pitched the state championship game for us," Woodruff said. "He wanted the ball in his hands. He's a hard worker and somewhat of an overachiever because of his size. He was fun to coach. He goes all out. He had a great upbringing as his mom and dad are great people."
Woodruff said Janway knows what his strengths are.
"You have to beat him, he's not going to beat himself," Woodruff said. "He's going to continue to get better through his work ethic."
Janway played in the defensive backfield for Parkview Baptist's football team at rover.
"I really liked football," he said. "You can't really take you anger out in baseball. You can let loose and hit somebody in football. It's a different kind of mentality. I never thought about getting hurt in football. If you go full speed, you're not going to be as injury prone."
Janway received interest from Louisiana-Monroe and Nicholls State, but SLU was the only school to offer him a scholarship.
"I wanted to be able to go somewhere so my parents would be able to watch me and make a series without having to stay at a hotel," Janway said. "I was a little disappointed not to have more offers, but it made my choicer easier and I'm happy I chose Southeastern, especially knowing they really wanted me."
Janway said he feels he has grown up as a player and person in his two years at Southeastern.
"The coaching staff was hard on me my freshman year, but looking back I know why," he said. "They just wanted me to be the best I can be. Their system works."
Southeastern lost relief pitcher Chris Franklin, who was selected in the 12th round by the San Diego Padres in the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.Franklin, a right-hander from Oneonta, Ala., went 8-7 on the mound with a 3.87 earned run average and seven saves for Southeastern and was a first-team All-Southland Conference performer. The former Jefferson State (Ala.) Community College product helped Southeastern to 77 wins – the Lions best two-year total in school history that was highlighted by a 40-19 record in 2010."He left some big shoes to fill," Janway said. "He was one of the best."
Janway said the team was inexperienced this past year.
"We were mostly a sophomore-junior team," Janway said.
As for this upcoming year, Janway said he will do what the coaches ask him to do.
"Just wherever the team needs me to be," he said. "Hopefully I can work more in the closing position. It's just whatever works for the team. I know I need to throw more offspeed pitches for strikes."
As for playing at the next level, Janway said that's his major goal.
"Every kid dreams of playing pro ball," he said. "I have a couple of friends - Wade Miley with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Blake Johnson who played at Parkview in the Majors. It would be awesome to hear my name called in the Major League Draft. But right now I'm concentrating on doing all I can to help us win at Southeastern."
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