Early-season plans called for Williamsport to employ junior Brendon Colliflower in center field.
Little did coach David Warrenfeltz — or anyone else, for that matter — realize Colliflower would not make an official plate appearance in 2011 — he was busy becoming the ace of the Wildcats’ pitching staff.
“At the beginning of the year, we thought he had a shot getting into the rotation,” said Warrenfeltz. “We thought we would give him a shot and see what happened.”
By the end of the season, Colliflower had compiled a 6-1 record with a 3.02 earned run average, the best amongWashington County public schools in a prolific hiting year.
Colliflower is the 2011 Herald-MailWashington County Pitcher of the Year.
“I had some expectations coming in,” said Colliflower. “I just wanted us to do well as a team.”
Colliflower said his idol was former Williamsport star Nick Adenhart, and he wanted to follow his success.
He began the process with a victory at Brunswick in which he struck out 10 in six innings.
“That (Brunswick) game felt good and gave me the confidence to keep going,” said Colliflower, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs a slim 165.
“He had thrown well in relief and I was impressed the way he threw, so it was worth giving him a shot,” said Warrenfeltz. “He was born to pitch and is mature and poised on the mound. He’s got a feel for the game.”
In 53 1/3 innings, Colliflower allowed 55 hits and 23 earned runs, walked 19 and struck out 52. Opposing batters hit only .244.
Colliflower featured a fastball and curveball and developed a changeup, a pitch he will continue to work on this summer while toiling for Funkstown Legion.
“I go out looking for (strikeouts) and to get the easy out,” said Colliflower.
He credited his defense for stellar play during the year to help him achieve his success.
However, Colliflower won’t be a surprise to anyone in 2012 when he takes to the mound.
“He won’t be able to sneak up on anyone,” said Warrenfeltz. “He will have a target on his back. There will be new challenges next year.”