Matt Rein was all set and ready to be a Crusher in 2012, but before he could throw a pitch, the St. Louis Cardinals snagged the left-hander. Rein had spent 2011 in the Cardinals organization, appearing in 15 games for the Johnson City Cardinals, posting a 3.60 ERA with a 2-1 record. Rein started the 2012 season with the single-A Batavia Muckdogs, but appeared in just one game before dealing with injury problems for the rest of the season.
The 25-year old played collegiately at Coastal Carolina, where he earned 3rd team All American by Louisville Slugger after he led the Big South and ranked 22nd in the NCAA and first in the Big South with a 1.78 ERA. Rein also led the Big South with a .202 opponent batting average, while ranking second in the league and 39th nationally with nine wins (9-2). As a senior, he was named the Big South Pitcher of the Year.
The southpaw has had a very strong start to the 2013 season with the Crushers. Rein is 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in eight starts and 47.2 innings pitched this season. Rein has struck out 40 while walking just 12. On June 20th, Rein had his best outing of the season, throwing a complete game shutout and allowing just one hit with 11 strikeouts against the Normal Cornbelters.
We spent some time to get to know the native of Houston, Texas.
Was it odd coming back to the Crushers after signing with the team last year and not playing in a single game?
“I wanted to keep playing after getting released by the Cardinals and signed with the Crushers, but in between signing, the Crushers hired a new head coach in Jeff Isom. I talked to Jeff and had to re-sign. It was a little odd, but felt like I was coming full circle. I feel more comfortable here because I have been here before.”
You don’t throw incredibly hard, but you have had a strong start to the season. What is the biggest key to your success?
“Really to just throw strikes. We have a good defense and we don’t commit many errors. I feel pretty confident that if guys put the ball in play, our defense will find a way to get the out. The defense makes it pretty easy on me so I just try to throw strikes and let them do the rest.”
Many pitchers and baseball players in general have superstitions or things that have to be just right before a game. Do you have any?
“First, you cannot step on the foul line. Second, to start every inning I pull my pants over my shoelaces. I’m not sure why but I don’t like seeing them when I pitch.”
Did you play any other sports growing up?
“I played basketball growing up, but I knew that wasn’t something I wanted to do. It was just something fun to do as a kid. Baseball has always been what I wanted to do.”
What is your favorite meal?
“Pasta and Shrimp.”
Favorite TV show?
“Married with Children.”
If you could have a golf foursome with anybody, who would you spend a day on the golf course with?
“Honus Wagner, Abraham Lincoln and Eminem.”
What is the worst part about road trips?
“The bus trip. You can’t sleep on them. We travel late at night and you can’t sleep on the bus and your cramped and when you do get back it takes a day or two to feel better again.”
What is the most embarrassing song you have on your IPod?
“Probably the entire Alanis Morissette album. It’s not embarrassing to me.”
What song do you listen to before a game to get you pumped up?
“Vibe My Sound by SVNC.”
If you could have any animal, what would you have?
“A golden retriever.”
If you weren’t playing baseball, what would you be doing?
“I would probably be teaching or coaching somewhere.”
What is your biggest fear?
“Snakes. They are just creepy.”
What is your favorite sport to watch other than baseball?
What are your favorite professional sports teams?
“Houston Texans, Houston Rockets and the Houston Astros. All Houston teams.”
The Crushers are back in town starting Tuesday, July 2 through July 7 for a six game homestand. See lefty Matt Rein on the mound for your Crushers Tuesday, July 2.
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