The Growth of The Young Sophomore Pitcher


I-Wei Chang

Dylan McDonald has gone 6-0 with 1.47 ERA became the No.1 seed on the CCCAA pitching wins leaderboard.

Since the beginning of the season, the Skyline baseball team has received 15 wins and 4 losses from sophomore starting pitcher Dylan McDonald. This season he has gone 6-0 with a 1.47 ERA. In the 43 innings pitched, McDonald has only allowed eight runs to his opponent with 28 Strikeouts in the last seven starts. He currently became the No.1 seed on the California Community College Athletic Association pitching wins leaderboard.

Back in high school, McDonald was a catcher, however turning to his senior year, he started to pitch. While in baseball changing defense position is not an easy job.

When asked about the position changing, McDonald explained how the challenge is for him.

“I’d say the biggest challenge is just transitioning to learn to use your body correctly because it’s like more different movements as a counter. So you have to use different movements as a pitcher to like be more dialed in and do what you want to do. So just understanding the movements that I needed to do was probably the hardest thing for me.

In the 2018-2019 season, McDonald went 6-3 with a 3.24 ERA, however, going into sophomore year, McDonald has performed better than the rookie season.

Marcus Pointer, the Trojans pitching coach who has been coaching Mcdonald since freshman year, explained about his growth

“He’s developed another pitch. He’s got another little cutter slider that he’s been throwing that’s really helped him out. And then on top of that, he just continually works,” Pointer said. “He’s never really satisfied. So he’s a competitive guy at heart. He’s constantly trying to find new ways to get better.“

As the team’s ace pitcher, the catcher’s role is also important during the game. Jeremy Keller, the freshman catcher who went to the same high school as McDonald. In his opinion, he thought Mcdonald has improved a lot on his pitching skills.

“What he’s improved the most is finding the different pitch types because he used to just be a straight fastball pitcher, but now he’s understanding how to actually pitch instead of just going up there and throwing the ball like really hard.” Said Keller.

In the past 7 starts, the Trojans have provided him 6.9 runs per game. Talking about the performance so far in this season, McDonald believes that his teammate gave him a big support in his starting game.

“it’s huge for sure. Last year, we didn’t have nearly the offense we have this year. So to be able to come out and have those guys score that many runs every day, takes a little bit of pressure off my shoulders and like a pitcher more confident out there.”

Compared to last season where Skyline didn’t make the playoffs. The Trojans have created great team chemistry this season. McDonald, who is one of the sophomore players in the roster really takes a leadership role by bringing his teammate together.

“Definitely, I’ve taken over a leadership role. I’ve just been more vocal in the dugout. And even when I’m not playing, trying to keep the players locked in,” McDonald said. “Last year, we didn’t really have a sense of leadership. So we’re trying to have more guys step up this year, and I’m trying to be one of them. So trying to be a leader on the team for sure.”

As for the Trojans head coach, Dino Nomicos expects McDonald to be one of the best pitchers in the state and believe that he is going to finish strong for the successful season and wish him to have the opportunity to go to a major university on a scholarship.