Playing several years in Duncan Demon red, pitcher Derek Bridges will be staying red after making the decision to sign a scholarship to play with Texas Tech Red Raiders baseball.
Bridges, spending the last four years playing for Duncan and the last year as the ace of the pitching staff, went 9-2 in 11 starts while striking 99 batters and having an ERA of 1.93 on the season.
Bridges was named to the Large West All-State team for the Demons and helped the team make the Class 5A State Tournament in three of his four seasons on the hill.
Bridges said what intrigued him to make the decision to head to Lubbock to pitch for the Red Raiders was Texas Tech having made the NCAA World Series four years in the last six seasons.
“I really liked the coaches there and they obviously have a good track record. They have been to the College World Series four of the last six years I think,” Bridges said. “I feel like I really fit in there and they have had good success with left handed pitchers. I feel like it is a good mold for me.”
Duncan Demons head coach Erik Hughes coached Bridges for his junior and senior seasons and said he was excited to see him commit to the Red Raiders.
“I’m extremely happy and excited for him. He’s worked hard, been patient and it’s paid off,” Hughes said. “Nothing caps off a good high school career better than going to an elite college to play the game you love. We are very proud of him and I will be expecting a free hat.”
Duncan now has five of the 2019 senior class continuing their baseball playing days at the collegiate level. Bridges was proud of what they did for Duncan High School.
“I love all my teammates and we have been through a lot together. We have played since we were six together, especially all the seniors,” Bridges said. “We have played some really good baseball over the years and I think it really prepared me for the next level.”
Bridges said that there are several people that were instrumental in getting him to baseball games and helping him become the player that earned a scholarship.
“I want to thank my parents, mainly because they have driven me all across the nation to play baseball. There is no way I would be going anywhere without them,” Bridges said. “Coach Hughes has done a lot for me the two years he has been here and he’s helped me mature a lot. I also want to thank Rafael, he was my travel ball coach, he always was tough on me and made me work out everyday with him. He would take me to go see all of his pitchers, he’s a minor league coach now, and take me to go out to workout with them. That was not fun, but it helped me mature.”
Duncan Baseball ended their season with a record of 28-10 record and finished in the first round of the Class 5A State Playoffs for the second year in a row.