Damion Horton “Hears a Who” is our next student athlete to be featured in our Spring Sports Senior Showcase. Damion is a baseball player that came into Cardinal Ritter with raw talent. Throughout these 4 years he has had the dedication to take his abilities and mold them into a college bound career.
Damion’s biggest attribute on the baseball field has always been his hitting power. Out of the 5 tools a player can have in the game, Damion has near major league exit velocity that he has now paired with his ever-improving hitting for average.
Damion showed so much upside in his first year at Cardinal Ritter. The coaching staff knew that he could eventually be a standout at the plate. He came in with plus speed and a great swing. His freshman year he worked hard and showed that his baseball trajectory could get him playing at the varsity level his sophomore year. He was quiet but that silence was not fear, it was Damion taking in all the new information that he was learning so he could begin applying that to the game of baseball.
His sophomore year he was able to show off his talents at the varsity level early. He showed promise and was able to crush a fastball. In his first series, he gave Cardinal Ritter some timely hits and drove in a few runs. This continue in the early part of the season. But like many younger hitters, he was thrown off a bit by a pitcher with a good curve ball. He had quite a few clutch hits, but had some inconsistencies that are common with young power hitters. He bounced back and forth between varsity and JV ball. However, the experience helped him in the long run as he learned to stay back longer and drive curve balls up the middle.
His junior year was a breakout season that showed highlights of his amazing talents. Damion came out hot and showed that he improved every aspect of his game including base running and fielding. Damion added a much needed dimension to the Raider offense as he could change the entire game with 1 swing of the bat. When he unleashed it was a sight to see, like the solo home run he absolutely tattooed against Chatard. The ball was gone when it left the bat and it left in a hurry.
Damion continued all year as the DH where he began forming his own hitting philosophy and eliminating swings at balls he realized were not his best pitch to hit. This approach saw him being one of the biggest impact players in the Sectionals as he came up to the plate against Danville with a two strike count a laced a 2 strike curve ball up the middle scoring 2 runs. This was the momentum swing that the Raiders used to propel them to a Sectional Championship.
Coach Scott has always been very high on Damion’s baseball attributes stating, “Like all of the senior baseball players, this is a season of what-ifs. With Damion, this could have been the season that turned him into an All-City player or more. I have always said that Damion has the pop to be able to challenge the school’s home run record. With the progress he has made, especially during this past off-season, I thought it was a real possibility this coming season. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. But the hard work he has put in is not for nothing as I know he will be able to play at the next level next year.”
“The first year of college baseball is tough as it is a year long season. We feel like the Raider program gets our players prepared for that jump. I have a good feeling that when Damion is fully immersed in baseball culture which immediately happens when you step foot on the college campus, the sky is the limit with him. He has some of the best raw power I have ever coached or played with at any level. If he continues to work hard and take in everything he learns at the plate, he will definitely be playing for the next four years. If he can build on his pitch recognition and patience at the plate, I could definitely foresee him playing past college ball into the professional ranks.”
Damion plans to play baseball in junior college for two years and play another two years at a bigger school.
His most memorable Cardinal Ritter experience was watching all of the Friday night home games with his friends.
Damion said his most memorable baseball experiences were “winning the Sectional Championship last year with my little brother in the dugout. The excitement that I felt was unmatched. I will most definitely miss the practices with my friends, laughing at stupid things Timmy says, and most of all playing some ball with my brothers.”
Damion added, “I would like to thank my parents. They have helped me get to where I am. As well as my brothers, they have helped me along this journey, especially my older brothers who showed me the love for the game. Last but not least my coaches. You guys have helped me get this far. Coming into high school I didn’t really think I would have the chance to play college ball but thanks to you guys I am. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get here. Love yall. #13out”
We are excited to keep an eye on your promising baseball career and beyond!