EDMOND — Entering his senior season, Deer Creek's Michael Fulmer was already known as one of the best pitchers in the state.
That wasn't enough. The Antlers were one game away from making the Class 5A state championship game in his junior year, and Fulmer was going to do everything in his power to make sure the team didn't fall short.
For Fulmer, that meant playing every day as a pitcher or third baseman and becoming a disciplined hitter.
Hitting had never been in Fulmer's repertoire before. He said he had an estimated 17 plate appearances in his sophomore and junior years combined.
With so many seniors departing from the 2010 team, Fulmer said he realized playing once every three or four days wasn't going to cut it.
“I told him he can be a better pitcher if he plays every day at third base,” coach Ron Moore said. “He agreed, and he went to work.”
And when Fulmer works at something, success is almost guaranteed. It didn't hurt to have someone like shortstop Brian Anderson there to help.
Fulmer and Anderson have been friends for a long time, and both Antler stars have signed to play at Arkansas.
Working in tandem on the left side of the infield, the chemistry was there. And at the plate, it was Anderson who helped Fulmer in his approach.
“He was a big influence on my hitting this year,” Fulmer said. “He taught me to stay back. Before, I was always looking to hit a home run. I was more patient this year.”