By Ray Hamill — St. Bernard’s Nick Dugan is the latest in a long line of stellar pitchers to play at the school, and he could be better than any of them.
After just his freshman campaign, Dugan is already on the radar of some Division-I programs and is bound to get several full-ride scholarship offers before his high school days are done.
The Crusaders star took the H-DNL by storm in his debut high school campaign this past spring, finishing 3-2 with an ERA of 2.33 in eight appearances.
This summer, however, Dugan has really taken off while playing for the Humboldt Eagles, quickly moving up from the 17U team to the 19U squad, all at the tender age of just 15.
Pitching against Team Australia in front of some scouts last week, including Ferndale native and Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen, Dugan was sensational.
In four innings, he struck out 11 and held the visiting bats hitless while walking just one.
Dugan’s composure on the mound is matched only by that of his character, and he appears about as grounded as anyone, which will serve his game better.
In Reno on a recent road trip, according to his coaches, Dugan threw at 88 MPH numerous times, and opposing coaches told SB and Eagles head coach Matt Tomlin that he has a legitimate top-three-round MLB draft arm on his hands.
Whether that turns out to be the case or not, one thing’s for sure — Dugan is only going to get better.
He also should continue to thrive under the influence of St. Bernard’s pitching coach Greg Shanahan, who has been instrumental in getting the most out of several top SB pitchers over the years and is one of the best coaches in the area in any sport.
In the meantime, Dugan will spend the remainder of the summer season playing sporadically for the Eagles 19U team, a squad that is expected to contend for a state championship later this month.
This week the Eagles are competing at the Western Amateur Baseball Federation tournament in Fairfield, which gets under way on Thursday.