HARRISBURG, S.D. (KELO) — With a cannon for a right arm, stepping into the batters box against Will Simmons Isn’t the most inviting experience for hitters.
“You’re going to get an inside fastball at about 90 MPH and that’s all you’re going to get,” Harrisburg Junior Will Simmons said with a smile.
As a freshman at Harrisburg Simmons was a two-sport athlete, but knew he had something different on the diamond.
“Sophomore year, I knew I had a real talent in baseball and so I decided to quit football and focus on baseball,” Simmons said.
That talent had never been more apparent than April 20th when Simmons pitched a complete game no-hitter and tied a program record with 18 strikeouts while doing so.
“I had no idea how many strikeouts I had. After the game when I had the no-hitter and then they said I had 18 strikeouts, I was kind of mind-blown,” Simmons said.
“I think Dad said hey great job, you know, whatever, lets go get some food. And he said no I got to go to the facility first, I have to get my recovery in. So, pitches the game of his life and the first thing on his mind is I have to do my work. I have to go get my shoulder work in and then I can enjoy it,” Harrisburg Director of Player Development Kris Regas said.
With a gift and the dedication to match, Simmons set a goal. He wanted to play collegiately at the highest level.
“I was looking to play ACC baseball, the high-class baseball; lots of fans, warmer weather, that was my dream,” Simmons said.
And that dream would come true. Simmons is currently committed to play ball for the University of North Carolina. But with all the attention he’s received, he keeps it simple while on the mound.
“I’m not worried about strikeouts or no-hitters, I’m just getting outs,” Simmons said.
“Guys know that every time that he takes the mound, we have the best guy on the mound and that’s, as long as you’re not taking that for granted, it’s just a really great feeling,” Regas said.