4A state baseball tournament: Heritage Hall relies on strong pitching
With a four-man rotation, coach Pat Wasson has kept his pitchers fresh as the Chargers surged to make the Class 4A state tournament.
Heritage Hall coach Pat Wasson learned something last year when he went to a four-man rotation.
“At the end of the year, those guys were fresh,” Wasson said. “We had Bob Kraft out there and he was throwing his best in the playoffs.”
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Kraft, the Chargers' No. 1 last year, is now at New Mexico State, but Wasson has kept the same philosophy going with his pitchers.
After a bit of a rough start, it's paid off as the Chargers surged to make the Class 4A state tournament, which begins Thursday at Shawnee, where Heritage Hall will take on Berryhill at 11 a.m.
They'll go with their No. 1 this year, Chad Nelson, in the opener.
“It's started with good pitching,” Nelson said, pointing to players like junior Tyler Huber and freshman Ryan Huber, who are brothers. “We're getting ahead and attacking hitters.”
Nelson is 8-2 with a 2.20 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP.
“He's able to hit his spots so well,” Tyler Huber, who catches Nelson, said. “His slider has really good movement on it and he's able to put it where he wants.”
Nelson gives plenty of credit to the older Huber, who sat out last season after transferring from Putnam North, with his progression into the Chargers' ace.
“I hardly ever shake him off,” Nelson said. “He almost always knows what I want and what we need to throw. That makes my job so much easier.”
What's also helped is the ability to keep him from behind the plate.
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