It was a tough question but Chaparral senior James Harbison answered quickly.
He was asked which he liked better, playing the in the outfield or closing as a relief pitcher.
Harbison did both on March 26 as Chap downed Fort Collins, 13-5, in a baseball game played at the Wolverines’ Eaton field.
He got an unexpected start in left field and made the most of it as Chap improved its season record to 4-3.
Harbison doubled and scored in the Wolverines’ five-run second-inning outburst and was summoned to pitch in the sixth inning. He pitched 1.1 innings, faced five batters, didn’t allow a hit and struck out the side in the top of the seventh inning.
“I like outfield more but it is always fun to come in and close too,” said the left-handed Harbison. “I felt really good. My off speed was working and had a good defense behind me. I felt good at the plate too.”
Chap head coach Alan DiGiosio did not hesitate to point out Harbison’s contribution.
“James Harbison was not scheduled to start in left field but he got the last start and then came in and closed the game for us,” said DiGiosio. “He had a pretty good showing today.”
Chap had 11 hits against four Fort Collins pitchers.
Andrew Isdale and Ryan Loomer each had two hits and combined for three runs batted in.
Isdale, a senior, was the starting pitcher for the Wolverines against the Lambkins and allowed just one hit in four innings of work before being relieved by freshman Ethan Adams and Harbison.
Chap compiled a 2-3 record on an early-season trip to Arizona but came home to face Pueblo South on March 25 and Fort Collins on March 26.
“We played really well down in Arizona for five games,” added DiGiosio. “Two games we had the lead in and realistically we could have come out of there 5-0. Both the last two wins were nice but in this one (Fort Collins) we did a lot more things right.”
Chap held a 5-1 lead against Pueblo South but held on for a 5-4 win on March 25. Isdale and Tanner Donner each had two hits for the Wolverines.
Senior Nathan Pitts was the starting pitcher in the Pueblo South game and surrendered three hits in 5.1 innings before Nick Miszuk came in to get the save.
“We’re in a stretch of our schedule right now leading up to league where we’ve got to keep building and getting better because you know what our league (Continental) is like.
“We’ve got some young pieces and some guys that are in their second time with us. “We’ve got a lot of arms and a lot of talent. We are just hoping we can put them in the right places and play up to our potential.”
“We’re getting a lot better as we go along,” he said. “Those first couple games we lost, it was our first games in a while. Now that we are getting back in the groove, we’ll be pretty good the rest of the season. We got all of it and good energy on the bench. Everybody knows their role and plays it well.”