Andy Bronson / The Herald
                                AquaSox pitcher Tim Elliott throws to first base on the first day of practice on Tuesday at Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium.

Andy Bronson / The Herald AquaSox pitcher Tim Elliott throws to first base on the first day of practice on Tuesday at Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium.

AquaSox’s Elliott finished college career in style

The Georgia native tossed a game reminiscent of Braves legend Greg Maddux in his final college start.

EVERETT — Like many growing up in the Peach State, Tim Elliott looked up to Atlanta Braves pitching legend Greg Maddux. And during his final start for the University of Georgia, Elliot turned in his best impression of his childhood idol.

Elliott, the Seattle Mariners’ fourth-round pick in this month’s Major League Baseball draft, tossed a two-hit, 95-pitch shutout against Florida Atlantic in an elimination game in the NCAA tournament’s Athens Regional. A complete game that requires less than 100 pitches has been dubbed a “Maddux,” a nod to the Hall of Famer’s renowned efficiency on the mound.

“For me to get compared to (him) is awesome, because he was definitely one of my favorite pitchers growing up,” said Elliott, who like Maddux is a right-hander. “I saved my best game for last, I guess.”

Georgia was eliminated by Florida State in its next game.

Like many who play in the ultra-competitive Southeastern Conference, Elliott patiently waited for his time to shine. He appeared in 15 games out of the bullpen as a freshman in 2017, posting a 5.93 ERA in 13 2/3 innings.

The 2019 season is when Elliott really blossomed. The Loganville, Georgia, native started 13 games and posted a 2.70 ERA and a 6-3 record, ultimately bolstering his draft stock.

“I definitely had to work my way up. I had to prove myself,” Elliott said. “Nothing was given to me and I definitely made it to where they had to play me.”

Elliott, a finance major at Georgia, said he originally gravitated toward intrastate rival Georgia Tech because of his desire to pursue engineering. But Georgia was convincing enough to lure him to Athens.

“(Georgia Tech) didn’t give me the same respect (that Georgia did),” Elliott said.

Elliott is the third-highest Mariners’ 2019 draft pick on the Everett AquaSox roster, behind first-round selection George Kirby out of Elon, and second-round pick Brandon Williamson from TCU. Kirby and Williamson both reported to Everett on Thursday.

Like Williamson and Kirby — who threw 77 1/3 innings and 88 1/3 innings, respectively, during the college season — Elliott threw plenty of innings this spring. His usage will be monitored closely after he tossed 75 2/3 innings for the Bulldogs.

Elliott sees himself as a starter and boasts a four-pitch arsenal, mixing in a curveball, slider and changeup with his four-seam fastball, which sits between 88 and 94 mph.

In limited viewings of Elliott, AquaSox pitching coach Ari Ronick said he likes what he sees.

“Very athletic pitcher is one thing I see in Tim,” he said. “He moves well, he works with a pretty quick tempo on the mound and throws pitches for strikes. That’s one thing we want to see at this level, is guys who attack the zone. Tim, from everything I’ve seen thus far, does that.”

Elliott is unsure where his role will fall in Seattle’s stable of young pitchers. For now, he’s considered a starter, but with experience as a reliever, it’s possible he could transition to the bullpen at some point in his career.

“I’ve always seen myself as a starter,” he said, “but I can be efficient in the pen, too. I’ll do whatever I need to do.”

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