05/12/10 — Trojans ink EW's Frederick

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Trojans ink EW's Frederick

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 12, 2010 1:47 PM

Competitive spirit.

Strong arsenal.

Family tradition.

Winning history.

All those characteristics describe the Mount Olive College baseball program and its latest recruit -- Josh Frederick.

Competition burns deep within Frederick's soul and he's following in his father's footsteps. David Frederick played second base for the Trojans during their National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) days, and helped build the foundation for one of the country's top Division II program.

"To be able to play at the same place as my dad and play in the same town in front of my family and friends in college, I like that a lot," said Josh Frederick, a senior at Eastern Wayne. "I thought about it hard and thought that Mount Olive was the best place for me to go. It feels right."

The southpaw tried to throw through a nagging injury, but his shoulder muscles tightened and it forced him to alter his pitching motion. That caused further discomfort and Warriors head coach Jabo Fulghum shelved his top hurler midway through the season.

Deep-tissue massage relieved some of the pain.

Rest is ultimately what got Frederick back on the mound. He threw a two-hit, 10-strikeout gem in his last outing -- an 8-1 victory over South Johnston in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament semifinals.

"It took a while and I've been patient," said Frederick. "It's starting to feel better now."

Frederick is 3-1 this season with 45 strikeouts in 36 innings of work. His weapons -- fastball, curveball and change-up -- have been effective at different points during his 11 appearances on the hill.

MOC head coach Carl Lancaster certainly likes what he sees.

"The kid knows how to pitch. We see him right away as someone who can help us in the bullpen, and I think he'll be extremely effective," said Lancaster, whose team begins play in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Thursday.

"It will depend on how he locates because he's not going to wow you with his fastball. We were concerned about the shoulder injury and how durable he is going to be when he puts in a lot of innings. It's a blessing in disguise that he's been shut down some this year."

Frederick doesn't expect to crack the Trojans' starting rotation during his first two seasons, and is content with coming out of the bullpen. He admits he needs to work on different aspects of his pitching.

The crafty hurler likes mixing his curveball with the fastball, and maybe working in the change-up every now and then. His philosophy remains the same -- throw strikes and let the defense work.

"My most-effective pitch is curveball because my fastball is not really fast, it's just that I can keep it low pretty good and get ahead (in the count) with that," said Frederick. "Then I can come in with my curveball to get people out. My change-up, I've been working on that and it's come a long way this year, but I have a lot of work to do on it still.

"Hopefully I'll go there, do my job and make them better. My job will be to get people out and that's what I hope I can do."