BASEBALL PITCHER OF THE YEAR: North Hardin’s Henderson earns the nod

North Hardin Coach Ace Adcock had one word to describe Andrew Henderson as a competitor on the mound for the Trojans — “Bulldog.”

Henderson pitched his team to seven wins and tossed a team leading 59 strikeouts in his 10 pitching appearances. Henderson earned a 1.46 ERA his senior season.

“He wants the baseball,” Adcock said. “It’s almost impossible to get it out of his hands sometimes, but it’s just because he is so competitive. He is going to go as hard as he can as long as he can until he can’t go anymore. When you give that guy the ball, as a coach, you feel really good and that’s what he brings the most is that competitiveness, grit and a will to win.”

Henderson faced adversity his junior season after an injury to his arm required surgery causing him to miss most of the season. Entering his final year, Henderson said he worked hard to get back and to win this award showed his dedication and hard work paid off.

“It feels pretty amazing especially after coming back from surgery last year,” Henderson said.

Returning from an injury can be difficult, but Henderson said his teammates made his recovery process and return easier.

“My mindset coming back from my injury was to take better care of my arm and don’t let that happen again,” he said. “My teammates really helped me out a lot. I would sit at practice and be missing it and I would have to watch, but they would make sure I was still involved.”

Henderson has seen a lot improvement in himself over his four years at North Hardin. He said his accuracy has been the biggest improvement.

“I used to be wild,” Henderson said about pitching.

He said his curveball was working well for him on the mound this season, “it was pretty dirty. I was able to power through people.”

“He has an unbelievable arm and has two plus pitches with his fastball and curveball. This year he was able to locate both which gave him a lot of success,” Adcock said.

Henderson has been selected as Area Pitcher of the Year by the seven area coaches and The News-Enterprise sports staff. He earned four first-place votes from the coaches that voted and tallied 21 points. LaRue County’s Bryson Arnette was second, totaling 13 points with one first-place vote. North Hardin’s Parker Estes was third with 11 points and one first place vote. Voting was done on a 5-3-1 scale and coaches couldn’t vote for their players.

“It feels amazing,” Henderson said about winning the award. “It’s the best feeling I can get because this is what I love doing, pitching.”

Henderson said when he’s on the mound, he throws the hardest he can and strives to keep a fast pace.

“My fastball helped me out a lot. I got a lot of strikeouts on it and when I didn’t have the fastball I had my curveball and it made it a lot easier,” he said.

As his high school career ends, Henderson is looking forward to his next adventure playing college baseball at Lindsey Wilson. He hopes to continue his dominance on the mound at the next level and use what he learned from Adcock to help lead his new squad.

Henderson said without his teammates’ and coaches’ support throughout high school, he would not be where he is at today.

“I enjoyed it,” Henderson said about playing at North Hardin.

Zachery Combest can be reached at 270-505-1754

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