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Newport grad Fisher, three years later, taking next step on diamond for Dawgs | Sports feature
Jared Fisher has always believed he had a future on the baseball diamond.
The 2011 Newport High School graduate and former standout pitcher for the Knights was selected in the MLB draft after his senior year, but elected instead to play for the University of Washington. After three years, and a host of tough lessons, that future is beginning to take shape.
Fisher spent 2014 and much of 2013 as the Friday night starter for Washington in the Pac-12, developing into a reliable piece of coach Lindsay Meggs’s staff and finding himself front and center for the renaissance of baseball on Montlake.
He said after starring throughout his high school career, the adjustment to major college baseball was at times shockingly difficult.
“In high school, it is a completely different game,” he said. “Guys come in thinking we’re going to be hotshots automatically. I was overconfident.”
Fisher spent a year developing his body, focusing himself psychologically on the mound and studying the task of facing Pac-12 lineups, a humbling but valuable experience.
After that redshirt season in 2012, Fisher found himself in the starting rotation last year after a rash of injuries. This season, he took an even more prominent role.
Fisher was third on the team in wins with six, and posted a 4.07 earned run average while starting 16 games, as the Huskies reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004.
He said after entering a UW program that had fallen back in the conference pecking order, the atmosphere around the program changed seemingly overnight with the completion of the renovated Husky Ballpark.
“It’s even better than we could have imagined,” he said. “It just happened to be the best year we’ve had in a long time.”
Meggs said the time Fisher spent working with pitching coach Jason Kelly during his career paid dividends.
“The most impressive thing is the way he has handled himself in between pitches and in between innings,” Meggs said. “At times, he looks like a big leaguer out there in terms of his composure.”
Fisher got a no-decision in his final start of the year, as the Huskies eventually beat Georgia Tech 4-2 in the third game of their NCAA regional. Washington was eliminated the following day in an extra-inning thriller, and Fisher was among many of his Husky teammates in this year’s draft, as he was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies.
He said before the selection he was hoping to go in the first 10 rounds, and would have a difficult decision to make regardless of where he was chosen.
That leaves the former Newport standout with options for the final two years of his collegiate eligibility, as he can elect to sign with the Phillies, or return to UW and try to improve his stock, along with the Huskies’ chances of reaching the top of the Pac-12 and College World Series.
“I wouldn’t mind coming back,” he said. “To take another shot at Omaha.”