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All-County Baseball: North ace was Root of problem for hitters

June 16, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown's J.T. Root is The Herald-Mail's 2012 Washington County Baseball Pitcher of the Year.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

It wasn’t often that opposing batters were able to knock around North Hagerstown’s J.T. Root.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior became the ace of pitchers in Washington County, helping his team to the Maryland Class 3A state semifinals with an 8-1 record and a 1.91 earned run average.

Root, whose only loss of the season came at states, had a successful 12-5 record over two years with North after he transferred from Greencastle-Antrim.

After the prep season was over, Root was selected to play in the Brooks Robinson Classic at Camden Yards and he’ll join teammate Andrew Yacyk this week to play for Team Maryland in the Heartland Classic in Norman, Okla.

Root is The Herald-Mail’s 2012 Washington County Baseball Pitcher of the Year.

“I’m happy with the season,” Root said. “I’m satisfied with my two years at North. You come into the season with a goal of winning a state title, but we just missed.”

The right-hander pitched 55 innings, allowed only 36 hits, walked 25 and struck out 82, displaying a fastball, curveball and slider.

“The slider was my out pitch throughout the year,” said Root.

Root had a no-hitter going against Brunswick before a weather suspension and he posted a season-best 12-strikeout performance against Catoctin.

“He worked hard on the mental part of the game,” said North coach Drew Crawford. “As a junior he was a just a thrower. He really came a long way. It was a luxury having him on the mound because you knew you were going to get a great game from him.”

Root said he’s fashioned his pitching style after Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay.

“He always seems focused on how he carries himself on the mound because baseball is such a mental game,” said Root.

Root will attend James Madison University, having signed his letter of intent in November.

“College baseball will be a challenge,” he said. “I’ve got to work hard, build more arm strength and that’s what I have to do to get noticed for a major league draft.”

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