Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sizzlin': North Hills Grad a Wild Things Sensation Baseball

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sizzlin': North Hills Grad a Wild Things Sensation Baseball

Article excerpt

Andrew Heck knew he just needed another chance.

A North Hills High School graduate and former Duquesne University pitcher, Heck had signed with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League, but was cut by the team in spring training.

It took a few months of searching, but Heck finally found that second chance and, so far, he has made the most of it. Turns out, that chance wasn't far from home.

Heck signed with the Washington Wild Things on June 16 and has wreaked havoc on Frontier League pitching since then, hitting .396 (28 for 71) with 1 home run and 8 RBIs in 17 games through Monday.

"I was just trying to get on another team because I felt like I proved to myself in spring training that I can play in this league," Heck said.

"I thought I had a decent spring and just knew that I needed another opportunity. I'm just glad that I got that opportunity back close to home."

Heck went 3-for-5 in his Wild Things debut June 16, and had 10 multi-hit games through Monday. He hit his first Frontier League home run in Washington's 3-2 loss to Lake Erie June 25.

"Just trying to hit the ball hard, hit the ball on the barrel. Not trying to do too much and stay within myself," Heck said.

Even though he's new to the league, Heck said he has already noticed some teams tweak their approach to pitching him the second time they face him. He faced Florence (Ky.) in his Wild Things debut, and said the Freedom made some adjustments when the teams faced off again last week.

"I didn't see as many fastballs the second time around," he said. "Some of the other teams throughout the series, I didn't see as many good pitches to hit as I was seeing earlier in the series."

Not that it mattered. Heck still went 7-for-12 in the second three-game series against Florence.

Heck said it has been a nice change to have his family and friends attend games at Consol Energy Park. …

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