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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

Lincoln High's Anthony Herrera

Baseball
By: Jim Linsdau of The News Messenger
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Speak softly and throw a mean changeup could apply to Lincoln High baseball pitcher Anthony Herrera. Although the senior does not carry a big stick, he makes up for his lack of batting by making it very tough for opposing batters.

Fighting Zebras baseball head coach Graylon Duncan said the coaches were not sure what to expect when Herrera came out for the team. Herrera did not play as a junior and he wasn’t particular well known as a pitcher.

As to his quiet personality, Duncan said it was hard to discern the competitive fire that burned within.

“He’s really not too outspoken. He doesn’t show a lot of energy and fight, (but) it’s in there,” Duncan said. “It’s just this quiet confidence he has. I just tell him just do what you do and he goes out and does what he does – he’s just a competitor.”

Herrera is one of seven pitchers in Lincoln’s rotation, but leads the team in innings pitched. He leads the league in games won (6) and has an ERA of 1.09.

Herrera started in Little League as a catcher, but after breaking his thumb playing football he decided to give up catching and concentrate on pitching.

“I had not really gotten much practice in any other position so I knew pretty much (pitching) was the main role I had,” Herrera said. “I don’t necessarily try to overpower (batters); I try to get around them. I don’t throw the hardest so there’s really no point in trying to overpower somebody.”

So far, he has gotten around 46 batters via strikeout.

His pitches are a fastball, curveball and a changeup. Herrera’s favorite is his changeup, but Coach Duncan describes it a bit differently.

“He has a really good tempo; he keeps the ball down and he has run on his fastball,” Duncan said. “His changeup is improving and he has a kind of like slider, breaking ball, a slurve kind of thing and he’s just tough.”

Herrera plans to take his “slurve” ball to Sierra College and see how far it can take him in the game. But until then, he will apply his talents to the playoffs and hopefully help Lincoln win another section title – something he was not a part of last year.

“Everybody’s kind of a brother to each other,” Herrera said. “We all work together and all try to get the job done together. We win together we lose together.

“I’m going to take it as far as I can until they say I can’t play anymore,” Herrera added.