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Junior leads baseball team to playoffs

Deloach+went+the+distance+with+thirteen+strikeouts+against+Allen.
Deloach went the distance with thirteen strikeouts against Allen.

Deloach went the distance with thirteen strikeouts against Allen.

Jimmy Muncy

Jimmy Muncy

Deloach went the distance with thirteen strikeouts against Allen.

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Ever since he was a kid, junior Zach Deloach knew that baseball was his passion. He started at the age of five on the McKinney Marshals, a team coached by his father.

From there, his love of the game grew along with his skill set as he navigated through select baseball teams. His latest accomplishment came last summer as his select team, the Dallas Tigers, took first at a national tournament in Georgia. Now, the Hawks’ cleanup hitter has another goal in mind: a state championship.

“I want to be able to say that our team is one of the best in the area, state, even the entire country,” Deloach said. “We realized that we have 18 seniors on varsity this year with myself and Michael Betrus being the only underclassmen. We figured that this is the year we have to do something big and Coach Stone has repeatedly told us that. We have so much talent and this team is special.”

Head coach Steve Stone values Deloach’s leadership mentality.

Zach leads by example,” Stone said. “He, along with several of our leaders, do a great job of putting in countless hours of work on their own. He is very talented but he also works his butt off. This sets a great example for our entire program. It’s always nice to have players like Zach because those kinds of players always make you a better coach.”

Deloach is among area leaders in batting average, RBIs, strikeouts, ERA, and victories, but he would be the last person to dwell on his individual achievements. Instead, he attributes the success to the team’s chemistry.

Our chemistry as a team is one of the best out there,” Deloach said. “That’s what helped us be successful. We’re like a brotherhood with baseball being at the center of everything. With the experience I’ve had as well as some other guys on the team, it makes us a veteran-based team. It sets the tone for the team and helps us realize that we have something big going on this year. We go into games with the mentality to win.”

The most surprising aspect of Deloach’s game is his pitching. A natural hitter, he didn’t pick up pitching as quickly as he developed into an offensive weapon. Senior catcher Stanton Turley has had the best spot on the field to witness Deloach develop into the team’s ace.

“As the year went on he threw harder, had more break on his stuff and hit his spots,” Turley said. “As a team, we are quite confident when he’s on the mound. He throws a lot of strikes and picks me up to make sure that I’m ready. Catching a pitcher who is going Division I is quite the opportunity.”

Deloach’s pitching is just another skill to make him a more complete multi-tool player. His talent in numerous areas has quickly caught the eyes of college recruiters.

“The fall of my freshman year I received my first offer from Baylor,” Deloach said. “It was a crazy feeling.  Everyone told me the college process was going to start early, so I had to humble myself and make sure I was doing the right thing. I got about 10 offers from the fall of sophomore year to the summer of that year. I decided on Texas A&M because I felt that it was the best all-around fit for me. The education, coaching and competitiveness of the program made it all feel right. ”

Last year, the Hawks lost a tough three game series to Southlake Carroll in the second round of the playoffs. Deloach said that better pitching and tough district foes will prepare the team for similar postseason juggernauts.

“They [Southlake Carroll] were a good ball club that did the right thing,” Deloach said. “A lot of teams in our district could be in first place in other districts. Being able to beat Flower Mound in the first district game after losing to them for so many years put into perspective what we could accomplish this year. That game was more impactful to me than all the others.”

Playoffs start in May and the Hawks currently sit atop of district 6-6A with three district games remaining. The team’s success has caught the attention of both the student body and the community.

“We’ve had people filling the stands at home as well as some road warriors,” Deloach said. “We have people coming to watch us before the playoffs, which is awesome. I’m glad to say that our team is good enough to give them a good show.”

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