By Kris Freeman, Sports Information Director
WHITE HOUSE – Senior baseball pitcher Michael Frye signed to play college baseball on Thursday with Lindsey Wilson College and will become a Blue Raider after his final season at WHHS in 2019.
Frye, a dominant right-handed arm for the Blue Devils, is projected to compete for the number one starter position for White House as the Blue Devils enter District 9-AA competition this winter and spring.
He signed Thursday with his friends, teammates, coaches and family along side to celebrate the occasion. He will join former White House pitcher Ethan Escue at Lindsey Wilson, a junior for the Blue Raiders. Escue was 0-1 in 13.1 innings pitched last season.
“Things got really serious about three weeks ago and I just loved the school and the opportunities for education and athletics,” Frye said. “I think Ethan initially talked to the coaches and that opened the door for the opportunity and I am very thankful and excited to be a part of their program.”
“We are very proud of Michael as a student and athlete that is a big part of our community at White House High School,” said White House High School principal Ann Miller. “Michael is a tremendous asset to our baseball team, our student body and we expect him to achieve big things at Lindsey Wilson.”
Frye was 3-4 with a 5.81 ERA for the Blue Devils in 2018 and pitched 27.2 innings with 45 strikeouts and allowed just 22 hits. White House was 12-14 overall and finished in the middle of the pack in District 9-AA.
“Our goal this year certainly is to compete for a district championship,” Frye said. “But it’s also a big challenge going up against the toughest competitors in this district like Greenbrier, Sycamore, Westmoreland and more. This is a good district with a lot of great pitchers.”
White House head coach Seth Long was very excited to see the chances which lie ahead for his power righty.
“Michael, first and foremost is an outstanding young man and student,” Coach Long said. “For the last three years, he has been the type of hard-working, team player that every coach loves to have. His parents have instilled in him the type of work ethic that has helped him reach his goal of playing at the next level.”
Frye, whose father Michael is a veteran of the United States Marines, had considered a military career out of high school and explained those plans might not be over. But for now, he plans to enroll at Lindsey Wilson for biology and environmental science. His scholarship is a mixture of athletics and academics. His mother, Carlette, is a teacher. He has two older siblings and one younger.
“The military is always an option and I had considered the United States Coast Guard or the United States Army,” he said. “But I am very excited to have my college career funded at about 95 percent through athletic and academic scholarships and this is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family.”
Workouts for the Blue Devils will begin in January and then official practice starts near Valentine’s Day with the season opening in early March.
“It’s awesome to be a part of the White House program,” Frye said. “I have worked with both Coach (Ben) Foster and Coach Long, but more with Coach Long because he handles the pitching. He has helped me build strength, and the mental aspect to change my approach to pitching and be successful on the mound.
“Those 6 a.m. workouts and getting up in the cold to go to school early are a challenge but that helps us get ready for the season. The cold makes a big difference in my grip and keeping my hands warm and commanding my best pitches, but that long toss in the winter is so crucial to being successful throughout the season.”
Coach Long is anticipating that leadership translating into a big senior season for his starter.
“We fully expect him to be a leader on and off the field this season,” Frye said. “We also want to see him be the type of pitcher that can go out and command a game. We couldn’t be happier for Michael and look forward to the very bright future he has in front of him.”
Frye’s best pitch is a fastball in the high 80s, plus a curve, cutter and changeup ranging in the high 60s to 70 miles per hour. Fastball first becomes a location matter for getting ahead in the count. As a pitcher only, his focus is on the mound and not necessarily playing another defensive position.
“I want to attack the inside first with the fastball,” Frye said. “If I can establish the fastball and get ahead in the count then that allows me to go after the outside edge with the cutter and use my other pitches. This is a tough district and you have to win the mental game first and the physical part second and we will have to do that to be successful this season.”
Lindsey Wilson College was 22-28 overall last season competing in the Mid South Conference of the NAIA. The Blue Raiders compete against several local Tennessee and Kentucky teams including nearby Cumberland University in Lebanon.
The Blue Raiders will be coached by first year manager Cody Andreychuk who takes over the program after spending one year as an assistant at Lindsey Wilson, and previously serving as an assistant at the University of Pikeville.
Lindsey Wilson plays home games at Egnew Park in Columbia, KY, on campus.