Sports Stories

Sedona Red Rock High School junior Wyatt Ross finished as one of the best batters in all of prep Arizona baseball, and Conference 2A, for the 2017 season.

And it comes as no surprise, given the extra time and work he puts into his favorite part of the game.

“There’s no better feeling than the ball coming off of the bat, to be honest with you,” Ross said. “When you hit just a line drive single it’s just ridiculously rewarding, knowing how much time and effort you put into that one swing. How many swings it took to get the swing that you have now, and it’s just a fun feeling knowing your hard work is getting somewhere.”

Ross finished the season with a batting average of .596, on-base percentage of .676 and a slugging percentage of .912; good for seventh, sixth and 20th in all of Arizona, respectively. In Conference 2A, they landed him fourth, third and seventh.

“I knew I was hitting the ball well just how it was coming off the bat and stuff, but I try not to pay attention to the stats,” Ross, a right-handed batter, said.

The slugger totaled 34 hits, including eight doubles, two triples and two home runs, 20 RBI and 17 runs scored. He also drew 13 walks in 19 games played. From behind home plate he secured a .913 fielding percentage.

But perhaps the most eye-catching number is his amount of strikeouts, or lack thereof, with three. The first came against Joseph City High School on April 8, the Scorpions’ 13th game of the season, when he began to feel the urge to swing for the fences.

Ross, originally from Gila Bend but a Sedona resident since the fifth grade, was not a catcher until he began playing for Red Rock. He said that he mostly took the spot because it was open, and he could hit.

The Arizona Diamond-backs fan grew up playing second base. He first started in tee ball, at around 5 or 6 years of age, and has never looked back. Batting was always a forte of his, and admitted that it is what he works on most.
Baseball is Ross’ favorite sport because to him it is the perfect game.

“Everything fits together so perfectly it seems like,” Ross said. “Even outs are just so perfect. Every single time you practice for so much and you can do so much but when it comes down to the game, it’s kind of you and only you and your team around you.”

In the offseason Ross plays on a men’s league team in Flagstaff. During the summer months he plays with Mean Machine, a club team in Phoenix, along with players from Mingus Union High School. Ross said that playing there toughens him up as a catcher and makes him a better batter, facing pitchers who throw harder.

What pushes Ross to put in the extra work is his goal to continue on playing at the collegiate level, and is eyeing a number of NAIA and NCAA Division II teams. He also has a batting cage at his home.

“I want to play baseball in college, that definitely motivates me also,” Ross said. “Just trying to become perfect in baseball, even though you can’t become perfect. That grind, I don’t know, it’s really fun for me.”

After another full offseason on the grind, Ross will be poised to have a successful senior season in 2018, as well as reach his goal of representing a team at the next level.