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Villanova Product Kyle McMyne Rising In Cincinnati System

By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This is the fifth season in professional baseball for former Villanova right-handed pitcher Kyle McMyne and so far it is also his best.

The hammer at the back of the bullpen for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos these days, the Double-A squad of the Cincinnati Reds, the 25-year-old McMyne is 1-1 in 21 appearances this season with 5 saves. In 24.1 innings, he has allowed just 3 earned runs for an ERA of 1.11 and he has yet to allow a home run.

"Overall, it's a good core group of guys here and we're all just relaxed and having some fun," McMyne tells KYW Newsradio. "Not thinking too much and just going out and throwing. I really wasn't worried about stats or anything this year, kind of just trying to throw the ball down in the zone and throw a lot more strikes, get more fastballs over the plate, rather than a couple here and a couple there and focus in on the zone. It's been working out pretty good."

Listen to the entire interview with former Villanova Wildcat Kyle McMyne

McMyne, who throws a fastball and a slider with the occasional change-up, was selected by the Reds in the 4th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Villanova. He spent his first year in the pros as a starter, but has worked exclusively out of the bullpen since then and says he enjoys being a closer.

"Being in the game at the end of the game is a lot of fun, being able to shake the catcher's hand after getting a save," McMyne says. "Really just knowing that the team has confidence in me is just overall a good feeling. So being out there in a little bit more of a high-pressure situation is a lot of fun. There's a lot of action going on. I like all that."

McMyne won 11 games during his Villanova career, spending time as both a starter and a reliever. In 2011 he led the Big East in strikeouts per 9 innings (10.89).  He looks back on his time on the Main Line fondly.

"All my memories are a lot of fun," McMyne says. "I met a lot of good guys. Playing there was a great time, it was a good pitcher's ballpark, had a lot of dead areas, you could throw the ball over the plate. I mean overall, just the memories of the guys, hanging out and being around campus and all that stuff."

As far as the possibility of one day getting to the big leagues, McMyne doing his best to keep it all in perspective.

"It always pops in your head a little bit," McMyne says. "But really this season, I'm just enjoying the time with the guys here and really just going day-by-day and playing games and trying to get wins here."

McMyne and his Pensacola Blue Wahoos visit Mobile tonight in Southern League action.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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