One of the key attributes that makes Firebirds ace Dylan Gray such a dominant pitcher is his ability to remain calm and collected under pressure. One might even say he’s the coolest Firebird around. The senior has a knack for throwing complete games, even when giving up a few early runs. He wasn’t always unfazed by failure, but Gray credits one of his travel ball coaches for teaching him how to have a short-term memory.
“When I was younger there were a lot of games where if I gave up a run or two, I really let that get to me and I would have a meltdown on the mound,” admitted Gray. “But then I had a coach really sit me down and tell me if I want to have any career in pitching, that I have to be able to forget. That I need to attack every single hitter like it’s the first hitter of the game. Big league pitchers can give up a 450-foot moon shot and then attack the next hitter like nothing bad had happened.”
As a prototypical left-handed pitcher, Gray describes himself as more of a finesse guy, trying to keep hitters off balance while attacking the strike zone. Prior to the pause in the current season Gray had been lights out. In three starts thus far he’s delivered three complete games (21 innings) without allowing a single walk.
“Dylan always gives us 100 percent and never gets rattled on the mound nor in the dugout,” remarked Fremont Pitching Coach Paul Biagini. “It’s a real shame that our season was cut short.”
If the season does not resume, it will be a shame for more than just Gray. The Firebirds had yet to lose a single game during non-league play. With a 5-0-1 record, Fremont was hopeful for a big season.
“It’s really tough, considering how well we had been doing in non-league play, we thought this is a year we could win the league. That hasn’t been done in a long while for Fremont,” remarked Gray on the stoppage of the season. “So, it’s definitely disappointing. Sad to see that dream taken away by a pandemic.”