Austin Frick has proven to be a long-distance threat on the hardwood, and now he is coming up big for Kodiak’s baseball team.
The Bears’ offense has been humming the entire season, and no bat has been hotter than Frick’s.
The junior leads the team in nearly every offensive category from his No. 3 spot in the lineup. He is hitting .449 (22 for 49) with five doubles, three triples and 17 RBIs. Those numbers are great, but the most amazing stat is that he has only struck out once.
“I think that everybody believes every time he gets up there he is going to get a hit,” Kodiak coach James Arnold said.
Other Southcentral Conference coaches have taken notice, naming Frick to the conference’s first-team. They’ve also shown their respect by intentionally walking Frick four times — his only bases on balls this season.
Frick’s average has skyrocketed .178 points since his freshman season. He credits his breakout season to former coach and current assistant Rick Langfitt.
“He is always looking for someone to hit opposite field, and I have been waiting for the ball to come in,” Frick said.
Arnold will lean on Frick to put a scare in opposing pitchers when Kodiak begins the state championships at 10 o’clock today against Ketchikan in Anchorage.
Frick is one of just two players on Kodiak’s roster who have played a state tournament game. As a freshman, he was on the 2011 team that placed sixth.
“His numbers speak for themselves,” Arnold said. “He just gives you the vote of confidence when he gets to the plate. His hand-eye coordination, in my mind, is off the chart.”
Frick was an outfielder on the 2011 team, but this year Arnold moved him to shortstop where has made some dazzling plays. He has made a team-leading 21 assists.
“It is different,” said Frick about playing the infield. “Every time a pop up is hit, I am chasing it around — I still got that mentality. It is different having my own little area.”
Frick’s family moved from Idaho to Kodiak when he was in sixth grade. He played a lot of baseball in Idaho, but soon found out basketball is big in Kodiak.
He led Kodiak’s hoops team in scoring and earned Northern Lights Conference first-team honors.
“It (basketball) is the one I have more passion for, but my family has always said that baseball is my sport.”
Frick, at 6 feet, 3 inches, is proven his family right.
“Certainly when you are that size and that athletic there is so much responsibility that goes with it and expectations,” Arnold said. “To me, he has matured to the point now where it is really, really easy for him. He is very relaxed. It has been fun watching him mature and grow.”