Hurricane pitching ace aims for state title in senior stanza
Hurricane High School senior Aaron Perry paved his path to the next level with pitching, and this season he looks to cap his high school career as a state champion.
Perry, a right-handed pitcher, signed to continue his baseball pursuits at the University of Kentucky. Before Perry advances, though, he aims to leave his mark with the Redskins.
“My main focus is winning a state championship with my team,” Perry said. “I’m pumped for that. We’re all pumped.”
Hurricane lost back-to-back games on March 23 and March 24, to Cabell Midland and West Carter (Ky.), but those defeats mark the team’s lone blemishes on the season.
“Our team, we had a little rough patch at the beginning, but we’ve started working together and have great chemistry,” Perry said.
Perry has played a significant role in Hurricane’s success as the team’s No. 1 starting pitcher.
“He throws three pitches for strikes,” Redskins coach Brian Sutphin said. “He comes inside, he can get his fastball up there. He’s been anywhere between 91 and 94 [mph]. His breaking ball is getting better every year.”
After playing many years as an infielder, Perry made the transition to pitcher in recent years, and he’s worked hard to build his pitching repertoire, Perry said.
“I worked on my changeup this offseason,” he said. “That was my third pitch. I was kind of struggling a little bit, but I worked on that and I’m definitely confident in that pitch, and my breaking ball is my number one pitch. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s what I’m confident in. That’s what I’ve been throwing for a long time. It’s like a hybrid mixture of a curveball and a slider.”
Offensively, as the team’s leadoff hitter, Perry displays a keen eye for strikes, and he uses his knowledge as a pitcher to prepare himself as a hitter.
“The first batter, he’s going to be anxious on anything, so if there’s a fastball, hop on it as early as you can,” Perry said. “That’s what – me being a leadoff hitter, I just try to get on and do my job and let me teammates score me in and get that early run.”
No matter his role, offensively or defensively, Perry finds success and ways to contribute, Sutphin said.
“He’s gotten off to a good start this year,” Sutphin said. “He’s been great in the field, on the mound, a great teammate, swinging the bat well.
“He understands, as an older guy, what he does well. He’s certainly a lot further along now as far as focusing on his strengths and what he does well and just having good at-bats. He’s certainly a big part of our offense.”
A combination of talent and determination expect to fuel Perry’s success this season and as he continues his career.
“Aaron loves baseball and works really hard,” Sutphin said. “He’s gotten better every year. He’s been a lot of fun to coach and a good teammate and works hard. I think his best baseball is ahead of him.”