Every time Josiah Siegel took the mound for Woodstock this season, the Wolverines had a chance to win.
The senior was undefeated, going 10-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 102 strikeouts in in 11 starts and 66 innings.
Siegel he said he was confident Woodstock would win every time he pitched.
“I was expecting the same thing,” he said. “I knew we had another strong group of guys. I knew, defensively, we’d be sound behind me. I was pretty confident and knew they would get the job. I knew I had a great team around me that could let me have success.”
Siegel, the 2019 Cherokee Tribune Baseball Pitcher of the Year, may have had the teammates to help him this season, they needed him more than ever.
In the last two seasons, Woodstock had lost the last two county pitchers of the year, and even though he was filling those shoes, Siegel said he never felt any extra pressure.
“I didn’t feel any pressure,” he said. “I knew there were other starters behind me who could get the job done as well. I never looked at it like my team needed me to go out there and be perfect or anything. You just have to go out and pitch as well as you could.”
Siegel’s best was nearly always good enough, as he went 21-1 over his final two seasons, but he did his best work when the games mattered the most.
Starting with a pair of wins as a sophomore, including a shutout, Siegel went 7-0 in his postseason career for a program that had yet to win a playoff series before his arrival.
“It’s just the competitiveness in me,” Siegel said. “I love playing in high-pressure games. I love having the fans around and all the noise. Being able to get exposure to that my sophomore year really helped prepare me for my junior and seniors years. You don’t have to be nervous. You can just try to do what you’ve done before.”
While his results stayed the same, Siegel did change as a pitcher during his high school career. The 6-foot-1 lefty added velocity to his fastball, reaching as high as 87 mph, but he still sees himself as the same control-based pitcher he was earlier in his career.
“More than anything, I see myself as a pitcher who locates and likes to rely on secondary pitches to get people out,” Siegel said. “I’m not necessarily looking to overpower everybody. Obviously, being able to throw harder helps, but location is probably my best asset.”
Siegel will need his whole repertoire next season as he goes to join one of the NCAA’s top programs at Georgia Tech.
Siegel was unsure if he will have a chance to start right away or come out of the bullpen for the Yellow Jackets, but, either way, he is spending his summer preparing to help any way he can.
“I feel like I’m ready for that kind of competition,” Siegel said. “You know it’s going to be harder, but I think I can make an impact, wherever they need me.”