Dylan Herriage strives to improve his baseball game by working with Junior Sportsman

George "Clay" Mitchell
Press Argus-Courier

When Dylan Herriage got the chance to try out for one of the Sportsman teams in Fort Smith, he took the shot because he wants to be a better baseball player.

"It's been a busy summer for me. Baseball has taken up a lot of my time," Herriage said. "But it's my favorite thing to do, so I'm kinda fine with it."

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Herriage will be a junior at Ozark in the fall and is from nearby Pleasant View. The Hillbillies finished seventh in the 4A-4 and were 7-16 overall. Herriage hopes that working with manager Shea Hamilton and coaches Jake Herrel and Jason Brasher will help him be prepared for the next spring baseball season.

He has one hit, and Junior Sportsman (9-12) has collected 15 hits in the past three games. The team has lost five of its last six games. He said getting out of the slump is all about attitude.

"It's definitely making me better. I just got to get it done. I want to be able to clean up some of my plays and work on improving my batting," Herriage said. "I'm trying to get out of a slump a little bit."

Junior Sportsman only has a few games remaining before the state tournament begins July 17 in Conway. For Herriage and the rest of the team, it's about moving forward and still finding the best way to get better.

"You can't feel sorry for yourself. You have to put in more practice and more hours to try to better yourself," Herriage said. "It's to make me mentally tough so that I can produce better next year at high school ball. You have to be mentally tough to be anywhere decent at this sport."

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Herriage tried other sports, like football and basketball, but found baseball more to his liking and something he wants to continue striving for over the next couple of years and into college.

"I saw that if I put in more hours of work each week, I could get better at baseball," Herriage. "I want to play college baseball, but I have to be playing a lot better than I am right now."