Warrington key leader for Sussex Tech baseball squad

Matt Warrington is Sussex Tech’s top pitcher.

GEORGETOWN – Matt Warrington wasn’t much of a weightlifter heading into high school.

Honestly, he didn’t truly start lifting weights until his sophomore year at Sussex Tech High.

Once the four-year varsity starter began lifting weights, though, he didn’t look back.

“My parents heard that if you lift too early, you could end up getting hurt,” said Warrington. “My freshman year coming in I still didn’t lift too much, but sophomore year I really got after it and ever since then I haven’t looked back.”

A few years later and the now-senior is the No. 1 starting pitcher on a Sussex Tech baseball squad that has put up an 8-1 record through the first nine games of the season.

“I’ve never had a player as baseball-smart as Matt, his baseball I.Q. is off the charts,” said Tech coach G.L. Jefferson. “He’s played a lot of baseball, but as far as his physicality on the mound he’s put in his time in the weight room.

“I know he wasn’t a stranger to the weight room as an eighth grader, but it was nowhere near what he’s done as a high schooler. He’s seen the benefits.”

The pitcher and shortstop is a four-year starter for the Ravens, entering his freshman season as an immediate impact player and gaining more and more confidence on the mound and in the batter’s box each year.

“He’s just a competitor,” Jefferson added. “It’s not very often you find a freshman who comes in and has an immediate impact like Matt Warrington did. It’s impressive that he was mentally mature enough to come in and compete on the mound like he did that season.”

Warrington was part of a 2016 Ravens team that went 10-8 and made a DIAA state tournament quarterfinals appearance. The Ravens went on to make back-to-back state tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018 as well.

This year’s team is off to its best start during Warrington’s four-year career.

The team’s lone loss is a 5-3 nonconference defeat against St. Georges Tech High on April 6, a game in which the Ravens trailed 5-0 early on and nearly pulled off a comeback.

“I definitely think one of the biggest things behind this year’s success is team culture,” Warrington said. “It’s a very tight-knit group of guys, we’ve all been playing together for a while now, from little league, to travel ball, and now school ball.

“We’ve stayed really close and I think that’s the big difference between my freshman year and senior year.”

After seeing his fastball hit 90 miles per hour for the first time over the summer, Matt has put up gaudy numbers on the mound with the Ravens.

In his five starts, Warrington has posted a 5-0 record with just 13 hits, two runs allowed and 53 strikeouts. Both the runs allowed have been unearned.

He’s struck out at least seven batters in each of his five starts, turning in four games with double-digit strikeout totals.

He’s also hitting .366 (11-for-30) with eight runs batted in and eight runs scored at the halfway mark of the season.

While his production on the field has been key, his leadership has been just as vital to the Ravens’ early-season success.

“He’s done a great job mentoring some of the young players,” said Jefferson. “We have one freshman on the team this year, but in addition to him we have a couple sophomores and he’s taken them under his wing just like Justin Hill, who is currently playing at Goldey-Beacom, did to him when he was a senior here.

“It’s cool to see the progression of him passing things along to the younger guys. Matt remembers the things Justin did for him when he was a young kid on the team. Matt is passing along the same traits and characteristics.”

While in the process of passing the torch to the future of the program, Warrington is also excited to be competing for a shot at a state title this season.

“Our focus right now is just to take it one game at a time,” he said. “That’s what coach reminding us of last game, win the games we’re supposed to. We do have a very tough back-half of the schedule so we just have to keep coming out at practice and get better every day.”

Warrington is set to extend his baseball career at Wilmington University next year, where he plans to study elementary education and one day become a teacher.

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