SYCAMORE – DeKalb County Liners pitcher Luke Harrison thought his senior baseball season at Glenbrook South High School would be his last.
The year before, Harrison had a stress fracture in his right elbow, so he didn’t pitch. Even when he was a pitcher in years past, his speed on his pitches was lacking, so he had no collegiate offers to play baseball.
Harrison did, however, have a few offers to play soccer for Division III schools, so he was set to accept one of them.
“Since I didn’t pitch many innings during my junior year, no one was really looking at me,” Harrison said. “I was almost certain I was going to play soccer.”
But Harrison had a standout senior year as a pitcher, and Indiana came calling with a scholarship offer, something he couldn’t turn down.
After a year at Indiana, in which he made four starts and nine relief appearances with a 5.74 ERA, Harrison is making another transition.
At the request of his Indiana coaches, Harrison is working on becoming a starter while with the Liners.
Starting seems to suit him well.
Through four starts, Harrison is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA, second in the Midwest Collegiate League among starting pitchers. He has struck out 25 batters, good for sixth in the league.
“I was just trying to get my arm strength back,” Harrison said. “I’m kind of happy with my start so far.”
Harrison isn’t sure whether he’ll be a starter next season for Indiana, something he’s sure he’ll need to do eventually if he wants to play at the next level, which he does.
But Liners general manager Josh Pethoud thinks Harrison has a future at the position if he works out a few flaws.
“I think he’s really going to challenge for a starting position [at Indiana] next spring,” Pethoud said. “He has some mechanical issues that he needs to clean up … I think as he continues, his command is going to get better. Luke is going to pretty good by the time he’s a senior. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets drafted.”
Harrison knows he has a ways to go. He still has some mechanical issues to clean up, and he’s adjusting to an increased workload.
But he knows that he may have a future in a sport he almost quit.
“I love baseball, so if I can play in the future, I’d love to get paid for the sport,” Harrison said. “I want to start. If I have a few good years, you never know for the future, but I have to have a few good years at Indiana. I don’t think I could come out of the pen and have a future.”