Senior pitcher leads boys baseball to playoff push


Nikolas Miller winds up for a pitch against Chandler on May 7. The boys lost that game, 9-2 in the winner’s bracket.

The boys varsity baseball team ended the regular season only winning two games against Basha and Chandler in the final nine games. The boys won their play-in 14-4 versus Tolleson and moved on to beat the O’Conner Eagles in a close and exciting 1-0 win, but eventually lost to Chandler in the winners bracket. One of their key players who kept the boys’ season alive was senior pitcher Nikolas Miller. 

Miller went on to achieve his first ever complete game shutout in that game versus the Eagles. Nikolas struck out six batters and only allowed six hits on 100 straight pitches. He touched on where his momentum was generated from and how the game went. “I was trying to keep us in it the whole game. It was always a really close game. Once we got that home run, and took the lead, from then on I thought ‘this is my game,’ and I knew we had a chance to win,” said Miller. 

His teammates realize when he is locked in and give him all the support they can during the game. Fellow pitcher Dylan Butler mentioned how they get him locked in. “We give him full 100% support along the way both on and off the field. When he is on the field, we have full confidence in him and hope he feeds off of our energy. We cheer, chant, yell at him, make loud noises, and do anything we can,” said Butler. 

The chemistry is very strong within the group and head coach Damien Tippett takes notice of it. “Baseball is a team game, so we feed off of each other. When your pitcher is out there being a leader, you as a hitter are making sure you are getting on base and do everything you can to scratch across a run,” said Tippet. “Nikolas always brings a lot of energy to the group and is always ready to show up. He gets everyone hyped up for games and gets really excited for game days,” added Butler. 

Coach Tippett also discussed his improvements throughout the season. “Like anybody, he sometimes lets the lows get too low and the highs get too high…sometimes he comes into the dugout pretty frustrated and angry. But throughout the season, his mental game has been a strength. You mix that with his competitiveness and you add on the fact that he is really good, and that he does not care who he is facing, he is a real bulldog and a true leader for our team.”

Miller and the rest of the team are playing Chandler in the semi finals May 14, while Hamilton will face Chaparral in the other semi finals on the same day.