MIDLOTHIAN – Stand next to Daniel Tockhorn and you’ll quickly realize just how daunting his size is. The Midlothian baseball player clears the 6-foot-5 mark with ease. Now, imagine that vertical obstacle staring you down from the pitching mound.
That’s exactly what Tockhorn will be doing when he makes the move to Northeast Texas Community College next season.
“I’m just going to go play and do what I do. It’s great to keep doing after high school. Can’t wait to see where it takes me in life,” Tockhorn said.
Over the course of the season, Tockhorn has developed into one of the Panthers’ top relief pitchers. He has one of the team’s three saves while commanding a 3.97 ERA in 12-plus innings pitched. His 14 strikeouts are fifth-highest on the team and he is one of just two players with 10-plus innings pitched averaging more than a strikeout per inning.
While pitching has been his primary role this season, Tockhorn has also swung the bat fairly well in pinch hit situations. Of his four hits, two were doubles and the third was a triple. He had two RBI.
With his size and strength, it was no surprise that a college was willing to take a shot on Tockhorn as his physical tools only figure to improve with the right training. Midlothian coach Ray Hydes was proud of the senior for his work this season as the team’s closer but believes his real success will come as he gets more training.
“I think he can fit in in any direction whether it’s closer or starting. I just think he’s going to have a lot of success in college. Once he grows into his body and matures a little bit good things are going to happen,” Hydes said. “He’s got a great frame and just has to work, that’s the bottom line. I’m excited about his potential and it’ll be good for him.”
Tockhorn isn’t quite sure what his pitching role will be at Northeast but he does know one thing – he is going to pitch in some form or fashion. The junior college program in Mt. Pleasant has informed Tockhorn he will be on the mound from the time he arrives on campus making his transition to the college game a quick one.
With plenty of opportunities to shine, Tockhorn has set a goal to do one thing – impress someone enough to earn his way on to the next bigger and better platform. Whatever lies ahead, the lanky hurler is ready for it.
“Right off the bat they want me to start pitching, I won’t have to redshirt my freshman year, just go out there and start,” Tockhorn said. “Hopefully (I’ll) get drafted or go to a four-year (school) at least. Figure out which way it goes from there.”
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