Fogarty-Harnish to play baseball at Kutztown University

By on August 24, 2016
Former Ephrata High School and legion pitcher Gavilan Fogarty-Harnish (facing) delivers a pitch during his senior season at EHS. Fogarty-Harnish recently announced he will pitch at Kutztown University this year.

Former Ephrata High School and legion pitcher Gavilan Fogarty-Harnish (facing) delivers a pitch during his senior season at EHS. Fogarty-Harnish recently announced he will pitch at Kutztown University this year.

While he may not have taken a conventional route, Ephrata’s Gavilan Fogarty-Harnish has indeed found his college baseball home.

The 2015 Ephrata High School graduate recently signed to play his college baseball at Kutztown University, where he will begin classes in a few days.

After spending a year of college but not playing baseball at Lock Haven, Fogarty-Harnish helped pitch the Ephrata American Legion team to a District 10 championship and Region Four playoff appearance this past summer.

Playing this summer certainly got his competitive juices flowing again. And wanting to give playing collegiately a try, he attended a summer showcase where he was able to perform his craft in front of dozens of college coaches.

That opened the door, but Fogarty-Harnish still had some convincing to do.

“I had never really gone to any showcases before, but I went to this one and it really wasn’t much,” he said recently. “You got to pitch to six batters and basically go and throw as hard as you can. If coaches liked you, then they talked to you. Well, no coaches really talked to me other than the Lock Haven coach, so I went up and talked to (Kutztown Coach Chris Blum) and he said he’d stay in touch. I told him about a legion game I had later that week and he came and watched. After that, he said he was interested. And it progressed from there.”

Fogarty-Harnish said being away from the game for a year made him realize just how much he missed playing the game.

“I was just fortunate because since I was younger I was still able to play legion this year, but I knew I missed it right away,” he said. “Baseball is my favorite sport and I always knew I wanted to play (in college) but I hadn’t really done the work to get my name out there when I was in high school. Thankfully, I got a year under my belt at school, and then I went to that showcase…I had other showcases scheduled for this summer but it just worked out. The Kutztown coach liked what he saw so I didn’t end up going to any of the other ones after that.”

Fogarty-Harnish made a visit soon after and liked what Kutztown had to offer as well.

“It was a really good fit for me,” he said. “I really liked their sports management program, which is the degree I plan to pursue. And I talked to the coach and I really liked the way he runs his program. It’s very similar to (Ephrata High School Coach Adrian) Shelley. He had some interest in me as a player so I just decided that I would go and play there for them.”

Fogarty-Harnish, whose fastball “sits around 80-82” MPH, said he’s not sure if Kutztown will put him in the rotation or the bullpen next season.

“(Coach Blum) didn’t specify it,” he said. “He just said he was recruiting two pitchers and I was one of the two. He didn’t really specify what role I’d have on the team, but we have a fall season so hopefully I can perform well there and earn a good spot.”

While he doesn’t consider himself a flame-thrower, the 6-0 hurler said his best attributes as a pitcher are hitting spots and throwing to contact.

“I really like to focus on accuracy and letting the defense play a big role behind me,” he said. “I like working quickly so that my defenders stay in the game mentally. I also like to have fun when I play. I think that’s important too.”

While he’s happy to have a chance to pitch at the Division Two level, Fogarty-Harnish isn’t resting on his laurels. He’s hit the weights hard this summer with hopes of gaining some strength and adding some weight as he heads off to playing in college.

“I think I definitely need to improve my strength,” he said. “That’s a big thing but also there are always little things you can work on with your mechanics to improve.”

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