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UNDER THE RADAR: Redbank Valley Pitcher Ty Carrier Doesn’t Look Intimidating on the Mound, But the Senior Knows How to Get People Out

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Ty Carrier can be easy to overlook.

At 6-foot, 155 pounds and with a wiry build, Carrier doesn’t cut an imposing figure on the mound as a pitcher for the Redbank Valley baseball team.

Don’t be fooled — because that’s just what the right-hander does to opposing hitters by changing speeds, hitting spots and getting outs.

“I like being the under-the-radar guy,” Carrier said. “People don’t know me as the dominator with a big fastball, but I just throw my pitches and hope to get the win. That’s all that really matters.”

Carrier has been pitching since he was 10. The first time he took the mound, he discovered he had the knack for the art.

Never a hard thrower, he makes up for it with grit and guile.

He just “gets it.” He just knows how to pitch.

It has helped him become a solid mainstay in the Bulldogs’ rotation as he enters his senior year.

As a sophomore, he was 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA as Redbank Valley made it to the District 9 Class 2A final, falling to Johnsonburg. Carrier, though, was vital in two state playoff wins, getting the victory in relief in an extra-inning upset of unbeaten Serra Catholic.

Last year, Carrier was 3-2 and with a 1.32 ERA with a team-leading 37 innings pitched as the de facto ace of a deep pitching staff.

He pitched Redbank Valley into the District 9 final, going seven complete innings in a 3-1 win over Johnsonburg. The Bulldogs then beat Karns City, 8-0, to capture the district crown.

That staff is deep again. And the goals are just as lofty.

“We have Jaxon (Huffman) and Braylon (Wagner). We have the Clouses (Owen and Mason Clouse),” Carrier said. “We’re just really blessed to have these great pitchers on our team. Any one of us can pitch in any game.”

That takes a lot of the pressure off. Carrier and the other arms don’t have to go deep in games, which will make them fresher come playoff times.

That was already clear in the season opener on Friday in a 12-1 win over West Shamokin.

Carrier went two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one, to get the win. Huffman went two more shutout frames and Wagner gave up an unearned run in his one inning of work.

Carrier also got it done at the plate, going 1-for-3 with three RBIs. Owen Clouse was 3-for-4 and knocked in four.

Hitting hasn’t always been Carrier’s strong suit, but he turned in a good campaign last year, batting .375.

He said his experience in travel ball with the KSAC Oilers helped turned him around at the plate.

“Definitely my confidence. They helped me boost my confidence down there,” Carrier said. “I was always struggling. I was always like, ‘I can’t hit this guy.’ Ever since then, I’ve been able to hit the ball. My average just went up every game. It’s been a blessing having the coaches that I have.”

Carrier, though, loves to pitch, and that’s what he’ll do at the next level at Westminster College next year.

Also a basketball player, Carrier was a guard on the Redbank Valley team that also won a District 9 title and made a push deep into the state playoffs, falling to eventual state champ Aliquippa on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

That left little time for Carrier and the other baseball players on the Redbank Valley basketball roster to get ready for the season.

Carrier worked when he could to keep his arm ready.

He was happy to be in live action on Friday.

“It was so nice; it’s been forever since I’ve been on the mound pitching to guys,” Carrier said. “It was so nice to get out there and pitch to different players and seeing the results.”

Carrier throws a two-seam fastball, a curveball, slide and changeup. All of those pitches move and he has the skill to throw them all for strikes and spot them.

That’s what makes him so effective — his ability to keep hitters off balance and guessing.

“The key for me is definitely my off-speed stuff,” he said. “I don’t have the most dominant fastball, but it’s getting better speed-wise. I’m definitely still better with my off-speed pitches.”

Carrier doesn’t care how he gets it done just as long as he does.

Redbank Valley is still very much a threat to win the district title again, even with a freshman squatting behind the plate.

Tate Minich was the mainstay at catcher for Redbank, but he’s off at Seton Hill University.

Now first-year player Kaden Sturgeon will strap on the shin pads and chest protector as the primary catcher.

“He’s been really good,” Carrier said. “Tonight, he played an outstanding game behind the plate. I’m glad that he’s stepping up. I mean, that’s a big role. He’s doing very well. We have a lot of confidence in him.”

Carrier also has a lot of confidence that Redbank Valley will turn in another strong season.

“Our No. 1 goal is to get to the D9 championship game again,” he said. “That’s our goal moving forward.”