Don’t have to Aske, Leopard hurler heads to NAIA’s Jacksonville’s Trinity Baptist College

NEXT EAGLE – Hernando High’s Marrick Aske (center) is flanked by his mother, Mary, sister Marcie Aske and father Mark Aske. Back row: Karolynn Hodge. brother Marshall Aske and Logan Anderson.

BASEBALL

Right-hander fanned 67

across 80.1 innings, going

11-2 over last two seasons

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

Marrick Aske

Dade City native Marrick Christian Aske recently became the second Hernando High baseball player to confirm he’s playing at the next level.

Aske, 18, recently inked with Jacksonville’s NAIA Trinity Baptist College Eagles.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound right-hander is coming off a fine season for 24th-year skipper Tim Sims.

After starting three times as a junior, Aske served as the team’s ace this season as the Leopards cruised to the Hernando County championship with a 7-1 local mark en route to a 18-8 overall campaign.

Aske 101

Marrick was born in Dade City as the middle child of three brothers and a sister to Mark and Mary Aske.

Marrick worked at Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Ridge Manor for years before becoming disabled.

Marrick’s mother is language speech pathologist.

The couple dated when they met at Illinois State University before relocating to Ridge Manor.

At Ridge Manor Dixie Ball, Marrick played his initial level of baseball when he was 5.

He played with the local league for three seasons until joining HYL Dixie Baseball Baseball. He participated with HYL until his freshman year at HHS.

In between, he played two seasons of Mighty Mite Football for HYL, mostly as a tight end.

Before middle school, he stayed fit by earning a black belt degree in karate.

Though he attended Challenger K-8, he never played any sports in three seasons for the Navigators.

Upon enrolling at the Bell Avenue campus of Hernando High, the light-brown tressed and blue-eyed Aske joined the Leopard baseball program.

He played two seasons of junior varsity ball under Jeff Laing before being promoted to varsity under Sims.

As he got older, his mound roles differed.

As a sophomore, he served as Laing’s closer.

As a first-year varsity player, he gobbled up innings in relief. He tossed 26.2 frames fanning 34 batters.

He finished 4-0 with a fine earned run average of 2.10.

Carson Lashley

This season, he and fellow senior Carson Lashley were as the Purple and Gold’s two top hurlers. The duo combined for 14 of the Leopards’ victories.

As a first-year fulltime starter, Aske opened the season 1-2.

He dropped his initial start to the three-time defending district champion Nature Coast Technical, 3-1.

Next, he earned the mound win over hapless Gulf in three innings, 11-0.

He fell below .500 (1-2) for the first time in his prep career falling to a solid Sebring squad, 8-1.

From there, as the Leopard offense began to get untracked, so did Aske.

Over his next six starts, Aske blended his pitches effectively and mixed his location enough to carve out six consecutive decisions.

In four of those appearances, Aske twirled six more frames.

His finest hour?

Look no further than the April 24 return game at Emerson Field against Springstead.

Aske departed after six inning and a 3-2 cushion before reliever Preston Black and his defense did the rest to sweep the regular season series from the Eagles.

Moreover, Aske earned the mound win over the Eagles’ hard-tossing right-hander Jack Jasiak, who is headed to play D-I ball for the University of South Florida Bulls.

In his final start on April 30 against Bushnell-South Sumter, Aske yielded four runs (just one earned) across 5.2 innings in absorbing the loss.

In the May 8 Class 5A, District 7 semifinals, Lashley earned the mound start for the top-seeded Leopards against fourth-seeded Hudson-Fivay.

Hudson-Fivay Falcons

The Falcons, who had dropped 12 straight games to the Leopards dating back to 2011, erupted for five runs in three innings against Lashley to erect an early 5-0 cushion.

Aske, who entered in the third inning, closed it down with four innings of one-hit relief, but damage was done as Fivay upset the Leopards, 5-1.

The loss closed the books on Aske’s fine 7-2 senior campaign. In all, he struck out 33 batters in 53.2 innings with a 1.83 ERA.

Marrick Aske.                                                                                                Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Aske wasn’t always all about baseball.

He was a member of HHS’ Air Force ROTC unit as a freshman and sophomore.

Outside of Emerson Field, he maintained 3.37 unweighted and 3.86 weight grade point average.

He was a member of Hernando High’s winning Quiz Bowl Team this year.

He was also member of the PIT (peer inclusion team) crew as a senior. That group focused on aiding students with challenging curriculums.

Aske’s favorite courses were all science-related including anatomy, biology and chemistry.

He aspires to become a science teacher to help other students.

Rewinding his career

Aske retraced his last two years on the mound.

“As a junior I was given opportunities to throw some innings. This year, I was part of the starting rotation. That set everything else into place,” he recalled.

“When I first started to pitch, it was about throwing that first strike and getting that first out. The biggest part of this game is the mental side.

“… As a starter, I knew I had to face guys over and over. You can’t throw the same pitch to the same guy over and over,“ he noted. “I had to make sure I was mentally right with my approach to each guy.”

Marrick Aske got the start versus Springstead in Brooksville.                                                                         Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Asked to described himself on the mound, “I’ve never had a blazing fastball. I’m the guy who gets a lot of ground balls. I used deception and location to get out of tough spots.“

In Aske’s repertoire included, a curveball, a splitter, a two-seam and 4-seam fastball.

He recalls his velocity improving from 72=74 miles per hour from sophomore to junior year.

After working with Rangers’ Kyle Bird in the off-season, Aske’s velocity gained 10 mph to 84 on his fast ball by his junior season.

He’ll be the first to tell anyone, “I’m not about gaining velocity; it’s more about sustaining what I’ve got.”

In attacking left-handed batters, Aske leaned more on his tailing two-seamer.

His four-seamer is his bread and ‘n butter pitch because it heads down and away.

Aske believes he was the right guy in the right place to open the season.

David Hale Bronson

“I remember when we started the season, I didn’t pitch poorly, but we lost to Nature Coast (3-1). I started off 1-2, but then that’s when our offense with Carson (Lashley), David Hale (Bronson) and (Dylan) DuPhily started getting cranked up.

“…Those guys deserve the credit, they kept the train moving. Even our No. 9 batter, Dalton (Black), would get on; he’d help ignite the offense.”

Defensively, Aske had no qualms.

Dylan DuPhily

“Overall, our defense was fantastic. There were a couple costly errors. But DuPhily played a helluva shortstop and we were pretty good there.”

Though a month has not passed since Hernando was upset, Aske hasn’t gotten over his final prep game.

“I remember Carson (Lashley) started, but we should’ve beaten them,” he said. “We hadn‘t lost to them last year or this year. I remember when I came in the third I said to myself, ‘They‘re not getting any more runs.’

“I thought our guys tried to do too much,” lamented Aske. “It kinda hit me when the game was over and their seniors were celebrating after our last out. That was tough. It was pretty emotional.

“Walking in, I thought we had the team to beat. I just thought we tried too hard.”

On the biggest lesson learned, “You’ve got to stay humble,” noted Aske. “Those guys (Fivay) were hungry. They were trying to knock us out and they did. They rode a couple good hits and their starter, who we beat before. Biggest thing I learned was control what I can control.”

Next path

After the season, Aske whittled his choice of college to NAIA’s Crown College in Bonifacius, Minnesota or NAIA’s Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville.

Instead of going cross country to play ball, he opted on driving three hours to Duval County.

“The decision was based mostly distance. It was a whole lot closer to go to school in Jacksonville. My friend Dalton (Black) is going right down the road to the University of North Florida.”

According to Aske, both schools offered education curriculums but one school was “way up north and other wasn’t.”

“Dad visited Trinity for me, while I spoke with the admission’s director and coaches,” said Aske. “Dad said he liked what he saw. And I said I liked what I heard. I really think Trinity is a good fit.”

On attending school in Duval County, “To me it’s a great opportunity to branch out and be my own person. I feel like I’m ready for the next challenge.“

Aske’s biggest hurdle?

Marrick Aske

“Time management is critical,“ shared Aske. “I have to balance my athletics and my education. To me, my education comes first. Finding the time to study becomes a priority.”

At this point, Aske doesn’t know whether he’ll be the Eagles’ closer, starter or possible setup man.

“It really doesn’t matter where they want to use me. I want to do the best I can,” he said.

Rewinding his latest chapter, “Last season proved that I could perform,” noted Aske. “I went into the season just wanting to get us a “W every time I went out there.

“Last season showed that my hard work has begun to pay off.”

Between now and reporting to school, Aske will continue to run through his neighborhood to maintain his cardio and pitch Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer with HYL baseball.

On his lasting impression, “I hope people remember me as a hard worker; somebody who got the job done. Someone who stayed 25-30 minutes after each game to prepare the field for the next game.”

As a singular goal, Aske maintains, “When the Major League professional draft rolls around in three years, ‘Why not me?’”

By the Numbers:

Hernando’s Marrick Aske (2018-19)

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

HHS’ Tim Sims alongside Marrick Aske on his signing with Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville.
 

YEAR

 

AP

 

GS

 

CG

 

IP

 

H

 

R

 

ER

 

BB

 

KO

S

O

 

W

 

L

 

ERA

2018

12

3

0

26.2

26

14

8

11

34

0

4

0

2.10

2019

10

10

2

53.2

56

20

14

10

33

0

7

2

1.83

 

TOTALS

 

22

 

13

 

2

 

80.1

 

82

 

34

 

22

 

21

 

67

 

0

 

11

 

2

 

1.92

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