One of the hardest-throwing pitchers on the Bellevue College Bulldogs baseball roster this past season will continue his baseball career on the East Coast.
Puyallup High School 2016 graduate Eli Herrick, who played for the Bellevue Bulldogs collegiate baseball program for the past two seasons, transferred this summer to Duke University where he will play for the Blue Devils Division-1 collegiate baseball squad. Herrick was dominant during his sophomore season with the Bulldogs in 2018. He finished with an earned run average of 1.15 and struck out 79 hitters in just 46 and two thirds innings of work.
Bulldogs’ head coach Mark Yoshino said it is the first time in school history a Bellevue College baseball player will don a uniform for the Duke University baseball program. The right-handed hurler said his fastball tops out at 94 mph.
“My best pitch is my changeup. When that is paired with my fastball, that is when I have my most success. My changeup has a good late break on it,” Herrick said.
Herrick said he plans on competing for a spot in the Blue Devils starting pitching rotation during the 2019 season as a junior. He arrived in Durham on July 1. Throughout the summer, Herrick competed in the coveted Cape Code Summer League, which is one of the top baseball leagues for college baseball players in the United States.
“It was an unreal experience,” Herrick said of competing in the Cape Code Summer League. “To come from a junior college (Bellevue) in the NWAC (Northwest Athletic Conference) to the Cape where you are facing top five draft picks on the other side and even guys on your team is just unreal to be around those guys. It was a time of adaptation for me and was a big adjustment in terms of just seeing the best of what is out there.”
Herrick credited Yoshino and the Bellevue Bulldogs baseball program for propelling him to Duke.
“Yosh is a phenomenal coach. He is easily one of the best coaches on the West Coast and even the country in getting guys in his program moved on to that next level,” Herrick said.
Playing at the prestigious Duke University is a dream come true for Herrick.
“It is one of those things, when you go to a JUCO (junior college) that is your ultimate goal to reach the D-1 level. To have it be Duke for me is an opportunity of a lifetime. It is unbelievable,” Herrick said. “Going to Duke is beyond my wildest dreams. It is a huge blessing.”