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Fuller hopes to lead Harleton back to state

By Nathan Hague
April 7, 2017 at 4 a.m.

 Harleton's Ted Fuller takes some practice swings during a recent workout.

HARLETON - There's an offer on the table for Harleton's Ted Fuller to attend University of Louisiana at Monroe to play football. The multi-sport athlete hasn't decided just yet if he's going to take it.

"It's a possibility," Fuller said of attending ULM. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet."

When asked if he's considered trying to play baseball at the next level, Fuller said, "I've thought about it, yes sir."

One thing he is sure of, however, is what he wants in his final baseball season as a Wildcat.

"Honestly, I want to be district champs," Fuller said.

Furthermore, he wants to help his team repeat its performance from two years ago with another trip to the state tournament.

"I really want to go back," he continued. "We just all have to play together. We have to all have the same goal in mind."

His head coach, D.J. Beck said that's one thing that fuels his entire team.

"A lot of times they put pressure on themselves because of that," Beck said. "Like last year we made it to the regional semifinals and played a good series against Beckville, it was a close game so obviously they were disappointed and at the end I was like, 'Regional semifinals guys. Don't hang your head about that.' They just want to go back."

Fuller likely has a lot to do with that mentality as he strives for perfection.

"If he goes 2-for-4 on the day, he's going to be mad that he didn't go 4-for-4," Beck said of Fuller. "After the game, he'll be hitting a bucket of baseballs off the tee. I'll be like, 'Ted, what are you doing?' and he'll say, 'Coach, I went 2-for-4. I should have been 4-for-4.' That's really the type of kid that he is."

Last year, Fuller finished with a batting average of .416 with one triple, five doubles, 21 RBI, 23 stolen bases and 14 runs. This year he currently has a batting average of .482 with two doubles, one triple, 18 RBI, 15 runs and four stolen bases. He's only struck out four times in 73 plate appearances.

"He's very athletic," Beck said. "He's not a vocal leader, but he does (speak up) sometimes and whenever he speaks, you better listen. It's one of those type of deals. He leads by example. He's always putting in extra work and taking extra cuts. The others kind of see that and they jump in and feed off it a little bit."

Despite having the ultimate goal of making it back to state, taking one game at a time is no problem for Fuller.

"I've pretty much always thought of it as one game at a time," Fuller said. "I'm not even sure who we've got next week."

"He really doesn't know," Beck said.

Today, Fuller and the Wildcats will take on New Diana on the road.

"I expect them to give us a good game," Fuller offered.

The beginning of this school year marked the beginning of Harleton playing 3A ball after being bumped up from 2A. They currently hold an overall record of 13-6 and a district record of 3-4.

"We're seeing better pitching for sure," Fuller said. "I think it's more fun though."

"Obviously you're going to see better teams more consistently but we haven't seen anything we can't handle when we play our game," Beck said. "Our Achilles heel has been not getting hits. Against Beckville, we lost to them 4-1 for the first time in district. Two times we had runners at second and third and we didn't get the hit."

As today unfolds, Fuller will likely be ready for first pitch hours beforehand, as he normally is.

"I'm just going for school and then when we start to leave, I'm going over any situations that we might have in my head," Fuller said. "Then I'm ready to play. I don't really like pregame. It just takes too long."

First pitch for tonight's game against New Diana is slated for 7 p.m.



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