Quaker Valley athlete of the week: Isaiah Piatt
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | 1:35 PM
School: Quaker Valley
Claim to fame: Quaker Valley baseball coach Dean Owrey was excited for the season Isaiah Piatt could have if he played up to his potential. The early results have shown Owrey had good reason to believe in his senior pitcher.
Piatt struck out eight batters in five innings and didn’t give up any runs in his first start of the season. He also reached base in five of his first nine plate appearances.
Eight strikeouts in five innings pitched is not easy. How much of that is by design?
I just throw my fastball and mix in my off-speed pitch and hope I can get them to hit into a groundball situation. I would say my fastball had good command in that game. One of my coaches said the longer I went the harder I was throwing and the more command I had. I think that just helped out.
You’ve already surpassed last season’s walk total (2) as a hitter in two games. Have you taken a more conservative approach at the plate, or are pitchers trying to avoid a big hit?
I think it’s really a mixture. I’ve moved to the top of the order, and last year I think I had one game where I didn’t hit ninth. I think it just changes a pitcher’s mentality. If I’m at the top of the order, I won’t see as many good pitches that are good enough to swing at. Also, my coaches have worked on me with my patience.
How do you deal with the pressure of batting higher in the lineup?
I don’t know if I feel pressure. If anything, I embrace it. Two years ago, it was like I couldn’t hit a ball. Now I’ve put in a lot of hard work. I’ve definitely worked a lot to be a top-tier hitter to help my team.
Speaking of big hits, you had three home runs last season. What are the keys to making solid contact?
I would just say first to be patient and stay back. If you get the right pitch, just go for it. You don’t want to overdo it. Don’t try to hit it out. Just stay back and make a good swing when it’s your pitch.
Coach Owrey raves about the team’s pitching depth. How confident are you in your team’s pitching, regardless of who is on the mound?
I’m confident with everyone we have. There’s Jacob Commens and Christian Johnson, two hard-throwing lefties. They have great command and can strike anyone out. We have a lot of great pitchers, starters who can go for a full game and relievers who can shut things down late in games.
If you could strike out one major leaguer, who would you face?
I’d probably say Andrew McCutchen or Starling Marte. I looked up to them the most as a kid. I was an outfielder. I’d just try to get them with a fastball, outside.