The totals jump off the page – 144 strikeouts in 64.1 innings. That’s an average of 2.3 per inning.
The totals belong to Dakota Bennett from Brewer High (Somerville, Ala.).
The 144 strikeouts are believed to lead the nation.
He finished 6-1 with a 0.54 ERA, having allowed 14 hits and 14 walks.
“He is a 6-2 lefty that throws a lot of strikes, locates well, hides the ball well, works quick, usually throws mid-upper 80’s, has a lot of movement, reads hitters well, and thinks ahead in the count,” coach Tony Drinkard said. “Basically, he does all the things you have to do as a pitcher to have that many strikeouts.”
Bennett signed with Arkansas in November, a month after committing. He had been an Alabama commit but reopened his recruiting following a coaching change.
Bennett had 101 strikeouts in 56 innings and went 6-1 with a 1.88 ERA as a junior and had 65 strikeouts in 49.1 innings with a 0.99 ERA as a sophomore.
“He did make a pretty big jump between his junior and senior year, but he has been good for his age and grade level since he first started pitching,” Drinkard said. “I remember seeing him pitch at age 10 and knew he was going to be good.”
Drinkard also said that Bennett could have been a basketball player.
“He is a very good athlete,” he said. “He could have played college basketball if that’s what he had wanted to do. They say he can dunk it about any way he wants to.
“He is very competitive and likes challenges. He plays relaxed, has fun, but yet stays focused.”