Strike after strike after strike. Durant High's Tyler Danish is building a case as the best prep pitcher in the nation.
Tyler has not given up an earned run all season. He's one of just four high school pitcher in the country that can claim that. Among the nation's top pitchers, Tyler has thrown the most innings (83) and has the most wins (13) with a 0.00 ERA. He also leads the team in five major offensive categories: Average, hits, runs, RBIs, and home runs.
The team's success, not personal marks, is what drives Tyler.
"If we win and I give up five runs, that's fine with me," said Danish. "It's just all about winning right now. The streak is eventually going to end, but it's just winning right now.
"Tyler is a special athlete," said Cougar head coach Butch Valdes. "He can excel in any sport that he chose to. We were very fortunate that he decided to settle in and go with baseball."
As a sophomore, Tyler was good. But a suggestion from teammate Luke Heyer elevated Tyler to greatness. Instead of sticking with his normal delivery that peaked his fastball at 88 miles per hour, Tyler took his catcher's suggestion to try a sidearm delivery.
His fastball now tops out in the high 90's -- major league fast. It's changed his fortunes in a major way.
"He said, 'Hey, throw it sidearm,' and ever since then, it's clicked. I couldn't thank him enough for it. It's changed my life completely around."
Come June, Tyler will have a major decision to make. Play for the Florida Gators or make a pitch for professional baseball.
For now, Tyler has his eye on one target: Leading the Cougars to the school's first state baseball title, strike, after strike, after strike.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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