Tigers’ Rogerson named the area’s top pitcher
By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — Hank Tice and his coaching staff couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Sophomore pitcher Heath Rogerson jumped up from JV to varsity, and at an incredible pace started racking some serious stats.
They kept waiting for him to falter, but unlike his devastating changeup, the young right-hander never slowed down.
Instead, Rogerson was the staff ace on a Tigers’ team that finished 18-8, won another Atlantic Conference title and came one win away from reaching the NCHSAA 1-A East Regional.
The young Rogerson stepped up when Williamston needed him most, leading the way with a repertoire consisting of mainly a fastball and changeup. Rogerson exhibited excellent control of each, which made him a commanding choice for the Washington Daily News Pitcher of the Area.
While Tice knew Rogerson possessed talent, he said he had no idea he would be this good this soon.
Heading into the season, the Tigers looked upon Bradley Rogerson to be the team’s ace, but after various injuries ended his season, Heath was thrust into the spotlight.
With the bright lights on him, Rogerson shone. Averaging well over a strikeout per inning, Rogerson fanned 110 batters in 83.67 innings and finished the year with an ERA of 1.51 and a 10-2 record and made the all-state team.
The key to Rogerson’s success was his control. The hurler consistently attacked the strike zone forcing batters to swing the bat. Rogerson would not surrender first base without a fight, as he issued a mere eight walks in 83 innings, while allowing only 49 hits for a mind blowing WHIP (walks-plus-hits-per-innings-pitched) of .68.
Rogerson himself said he was a surprised by his success this season.
Rogerson said he was happy to contribute.
Equipped with a batter-freezing changeup and a fastball that ranges in the low 80s, Tice was able to have Rogerson approach each batter with an unconventional style.
While most pitchers use their fastball to setup their off-speed stuff, Tice felt confident in having Rogerson work off his change. That gamble can be very risky, however, it paid off nicely for Rogerson and the Tigers.
Rogerson said he learned a lot from his family members, including his brother Chuck Rogerson, who was the 2005 WDN Pitcher of the Area.
While Rogerson has exhibited extreme talent, he has also displayed excellent poise, which is what really makes a pitcher a pitcher.
Not only did he handled the jump from JV to varsity, but he kept his cool on the mound during the Tigers’ playoff run.