On the mound Georgetown Prep junior Andrew Ashur escapes into his own world. In a start earlier this season, rain poured down on the left-handed hurler’s cap, and after the game his grandmother asked him what it was like to pitch in the rain. His response, “It was raining?”
Tuesday in Interstate Athletic Conference play at Bullis, Ashur had to deal with “Roses” by Outkast playing one field away in preparation for the lacrosse game on the Bulldogs’ campus. But Ashur paid the added noise no heed as he pitched three shutout innings en route to a 12-0, five-inning victory in Potomac.
His demeanor on the mound has compelled his coach, Chris Rodriguez, to say he pitches like he is 6 feet 4, though he stands 5 feet 10.
“He started off a little slow early in the year, but he’s a precision guy,” Rodriguez said. “He doesn’t try to sit there and overpower you. It was good to see him establish his fastball and get ahead.”
Off the field, the multitalented southpaw is also a pianist and singer in an a cappella choir. But his talents on it have earned him attention from the likes of Bucknell, Georgetown, Duke and William and Mary. Recruiters from Bucknell and Georgetown were in attendance at Tuesday’s game.
With his team out to an early six-run lead in the third, Ashur revealed the newest pitch in his arsenal — a fluid change-up that deceptively drops in below the batter’s belt. It froze the batter for one of his three strikeouts on the day. The change-up rounds out his four pitching options that also include fastball, cutter and curveball.
“I just work on hitting my spots, and I put in a lot of work in the bullpen during the week,” Ashur said.
After going three up and three down in the first inning, the Little Hoyas (21-7, 8-0) provided Ashur with ample run support in the second inning as they plated six runs and batted around. They added three runs apiece in the third and fourth before the game was called after the Bulldogs (10-6, 5-4) hit in the fifth.
Of the nine starting batters who stepped into the batter’s box for Georgetown Prep, eight reached base safely. Senior center fielder Tanner Sampson (Mount St. Mary’s commit) went 2 for 3 with three RBI, including a ground-rule double that nearly left the park.
“He just absolutely raked today, and he plays well and runs well,” Rodriquez said of Sampson. “He plays the game hard. Good things are going to happen for him, and I think he’s really starting to put it together.”