Tyler Horsley is a senior pitcher/outfielder for the Ballard baseball team.
Last season Horsley won a big game in the Seventh Region Tournament to help the Bruins win their first region title since 2007. He also pitched in Ballard’s 11-6 loss to eventual champion West Jessamine in the first round of the state tournament.
This season the 6-1, 190-pound Horsley, who has signed with Murray State, has big goals for himself and the Bruins, who are the No. 1 team in Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25.
Q: When did you start playing baseball?
A: I’ve been playing baseball basically my whole life. I think I started tee-ball around age 5.
Q: What was your pitching record last year?
A: It was not good. I honestly think I had one win at the end of the season. Other than that it was not a very solid year.
Q: That win, though, was against Male in the Seventh Region semifinals, right?
A: I actually did not start that game. I believe we were down when I came in to pitch, then we scored some runs and that’s how I ended up getting the win for that game.
Q: What did it feel like to get that victory?
A: It was a great experience. I was all amped up. I definitely felt like I was throwing hard, definitely felt like I had my best stuff that game and we ended up getting the victory, which was awesome.
Q: Then the next day you started and the team won the region. What was that like?
A: I didn’t have my best stuff. I think I ended up coming out in the third inning and our senior pitcher, Jack Dillon, came in to finish the game and he pitched an exceptional game. That was just a phenomenal experience, winning that, because we knew how long it had been since Ballard had been to the start tournament.
Q: Your teammate Jordon Adell hit a grand slam that proved to be the difference in that game. What was your perspective of that?
A: I was in the dugout at the moment and right off the bat, he’s got incredible power, so you know that if he gets the ball in the air there’s always a pretty good chance he’s going to put it out. So right off the bat pretty much everybody knew that we were about to get four runs.
Q: What do you think you’ll major in at Murray State?
A: I’m looking at probably going into engineering. I’ve always been good with numbers and it seems like it would be the best option. …My favorite classes have always been my math classes. I’ve always made A’s in my math classes. One other thing that really made me enjoy engineering was when I was younger, I was always playing with Legos and wanting to build stuff.
Q: What’s your fastball been clocked at?
A: I’ve gotten 90 miles an hour one time. Just seeing that nine in front of a number was amazing, because I had gotten 89 several times and never quite gotten that one extra mile per hour.
Q: What are your other pitches?
A: I throw a changeup and a curveball. My curveball’s always kind of been my bread and butter. And this year I started working with a two-seamer and a cutter.
Q: What’s the goal for this year?
A: In terms of personal goals I’d like to top out at 92 by the end of the year. I’d like to keep my ERA down as low as possible and I’d also like to get a lot of at-bats, have a good average, hopefully around .300 or .350. As far as team goals, just a state championship is all we have in mind.
TYLER HORSLEY UP CLOSE
Student-athlete: Tyler, whose favorite subject is pre-calculus, has a 3.7 GPA. He is in his second year on the varsity baseball team.
Family: Tyler, 17, lives with his mom, Shannon, and his dad, Tim. His older brother, Aaron, is a junior at the University of Louisville.
Ballard coach David Trager says: Tyler, he’s obviously very talented. He’s physically able to create some power with his fastball. One thing I’m most proud of him for is, he really took this off-season and learned the art of pitching. Before he was just trying to be a thrower and didn’t really try to understand how to pitch and just the mental side of it. This off-season he really took pride in understanding just the art of pitching. He learned how to do some different things with his fastball. He learned how to locate his off-speed stuff. He really learned the mental side of it.