Home News Libertyville pitcher Anthony Fry finds ‘right fit’

Libertyville pitcher Anthony Fry finds ‘right fit’

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Libertyville’s Anthony Fry has neither a physically imposing frame nor a blazing fastball.

The 5-foot-10, 155-pound junior right-hander doesn’t need either to retire hitters.

“From a young age, I never really threw that hard, and I’m not overpowering now compared to a lot of other pitchers,” Fry said. “But I’ve always been very good at throwing strikes. As I grew, I started to realize that the more strikes I threw, the less hits I gave up.”

Fry stays true to who he is on the mound.

“It’s great to have that inner feeling where I know I have to work hard to get people out,” he said.

Fry’s ability to get outs made him a key part of the Wildcats’ bullpen last season. He finished with a 4-2 record, three saves and a 3.30 ERA. He also walked just six batters while striking out 28 in his team-high 19 appearances.

“We liked his stuff but didn’t know how he’d react when the pressure was on,” Libertyville coach Matt Thompson said. “But as time went on, he earned his innings and built up his confidence.”

Fry credits older teammates for keeping him steady, especially after he yielded a home run in his varsity debut.

“They told me, ‘You’re fine,’ and that meant a lot,” he said. “About halfway through the season, I realized I wasn’t giving up much. I just got it at some point.”

So Fry answered in the affirmative when Thompson asked whether he’d like to step into the starting rotation this season. Fry seems to have made the right decision. After three starts, he has a 0.47 ERA with seven strikeouts and just one walk in 15 innings for the Wildcats (5-2-1).

Libertyville pitcher Anthony Fry (8) throws during the IHSA Baseball Class 4A Mundelein Sectional semifinal at Mundelein High School in Mundelein on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. Stevenson defeated Libertyville, 8-3.
Libertyville’s Anthony Fry pitches against Stevenson during a Class 4A Mundelein Sectional semifinal on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. (Trent Sprague / News-Sun)

Fry’s efficiency was on full display during a scoreless tie against Barrington on March 13, when he needed just 79 pitches to get through seven innings. He also pitched six innings of one-run ball against a two-time defending Arizona state champion last week.

“I was nervous before the game in Arizona because that team is really good,” Fry said. “But I took a deep breath before the outing and just focused on not throwing many balls.”

Fry has become adept at staying ahead of hitters and keeping them off balance. He achieves this with a three-pitch repertoire — fastball, change-up and slider — that could eventually be joined by a curveball, which Fry has only tinkered with. He likes to start games by featuring his fastball, which he said typically sits around 82 or 83 mph.

Libertyville junior Quinn Schambow, an Oklahoma State commit, has caught Fry for nearly a decade and knows that fastball is good enough.

“A lot of people take velocity too seriously, because if you know a fastball is coming, it’s a lot easier to hit,” Schambow said. “He’s not intimidating on the mound, but he knows he throws every single pitch well, so he’s confident. That’s a big thing for pitchers, and he has that 100% right now.”

Fry’s slider moves away from right-handed batters and is a tad slower than the change-up, which moves toward righties. Schambow said Fry’s fastball doesn’t always stay on a flat line, either, which makes it hard for batters to differentiate it from the change-up.

“He hides the ball really well, and I know I can call any pitch at any point in the count,” Schambow said.

That’s not to say Fry is satisfied.

“I want to find more velocity,” he said. “That’s something that can be added as you grow. Probably the main things to focus on are adding more strength and tweaking some minor mechanics. But you have to find the right fit for you and your body.”

Fry has found that, at least for now.

Steve Reaven is a freelance reporter.



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