Varsity Baseball Squad Aims for a Successful Season in 2019


Noah Karesh, Staff Writer

The baseball team kicked off their 2019 season on Feb. 21 in the Grand Prairie Tournament, going 2-1 overall with wins over Richardson High 15-0 and South Grand Prairie 5-2 but losing to Sherman. This year’s squad is led by senior pitchers Jack Hattrup and Luke Douthitt, both of whom are committed to play baseball next year with Hattrup at Baylor University and Douthitt at Cisco Junior College.

Hattrup dominated for the Wolves pitching wise last season, posting a winning record of 6-4, as well as leading the Wolves in Earned Run Average (ERA) at 1.54 and strikeouts with a total of 81. Douthitt contributed to the pitching effort as well last season with three wins, 47 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.08.

“This year for myself I am trying to improve my mechanics to improve my performance and decrease the chance of injury,” Hattrup said. “To be successful once again this season we need to show focus and determination throughout the year, if we do that I am confident we will find a way to win.”

Douthitt will be coming off a solid 2018 effort for the Wolves as the other starting pitcher for the Wolves. He finished with a 4.08 ERA, 3-2 record and 47 strikeouts on the year. Even still though, Douthitt will be looking to improve these numbers even more this year and accomplish some personal and overall team goals.

“I believe we will be in every single game this year,” Douthitt said. “With Jack, Danny and I coming back on the mound I do not see any team beating us easily this year. I would also love if I get the opportunity to win an award. Since Jack won Pitcher of the Year for the district last year, I am hoping to follow in his footsteps and pitch well enough to win that or Most Valuable Player this year.”

Junior Danny Davis will also be in the starting pitching rotation following finishing with a 3-1 record, 3.00 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 2018. New faces will be present in the Wolves rotation as well with sophomores Chase Spencer and Nick Moore, who only appeared briefly for the Wolves last season.

If we are able to come together as a team and help each other overcome whatever challenges we may face I know that we will have another successful season and make an even deeper run in the playoffs.”

— Luke Douthitt

Offensive wise, this years squad contains starting center fielder Ryan Frnka, who finished with a .250 average, 20 hits, 11 RBI and a .287 slugging percentage. Frnka will also be looking to add onto his base stealing after finishing with the second most on the Wolves last year with five. Junior infielder CJ Difiglia will also provide additional offensive and defensive power for the Wolves in his first year on varsity. Difiglia made it clear he is not worried about the pressure of playing on varsity for the first time.

“I have played baseball for almost my whole life and I know what it takes to be productive at a high level,” Difiglia said. “For me, playing baseball is the same no matter what level. I am more excited than anything.”

Other new additions to the Wolves this year includes juniors Jacob Aldridge, Gage West and Nolan Chasak, as well as freshman Brian Hallum. Difiglia spoke on what he has worked on during the offseason offensively and defensively for this year.

“I am really trying to work on keeping my hands inside the baseball when hitting to be able to drive pitches to all parts of the field,” Difiglia said. “I also have been working to improve my arm strength by doing more long toss and throwing programs.”

Difiglia also spoke on what the team must do in order to have a successful season and make the playoffs.

“We need to be consistent all season at the plate,” Difiglia said. “We need to be able back up our pitching and defense by putting runs on the board early and knocking out the starting pitcher as soon as possible.”

With the future looking bright for the Wolves with many underclassmen on varsity already and the senior pitchers leading the way, the team will be a force to be reckoned with as they continue their non-district and district games later in the year. However, Douthitt knows that the squad must stick together throughout the year in order to make a run in the playoffs.

“In order to be successful this year as a team, we have to be able come together and play as a team and be able to overcome any struggles we face in games throughout the year,” Douthitt said. “If we are able to come together as a team and help each other overcome whatever challenges we may face I know that we will have another successful season and make an even deeper run in the playoffs.”