As one of Oak Ridge’s regular starting pitchers, Joe Durket played a key role in the varsity baseball team’s success this season.
The Trojans finished the season as the Sierra Foothill League champions, and made it to the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, before a loss to Jesuit ended their season with a 17-12 record.
Durket won five of those games against only one loss and finished with an earned run average of 2.17. In 38 2/3 innings pitched, Durket allowed just 12 earned runs and walked 14 against 31 strikeouts. Opponents hit just .173 against him with 26 hits in 150 at bats.
Durket ended his high school by appearing in the Optimist All-Star baseball game. In two innings of work, Durket allowed one hit and walked another, while striking out three.
“It was a lot of fun,” Durket said. “It feels good to play another game. I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to play, so it’s always fun to play when you can. The team played well.”
Durket will attend Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, in the fall and will also continue to play baseball.
Folsom Telegraph: What are your post-high school plans?
Joe Durket: I am going to attend and play baseball for Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.
FT: Do sports run in your family?
JD: All my family are athletes. My mom swam in college and my dad played basketball. My oldest brother Jonathan was a Division I pitcher for Wright State, and played 2 ½ years of pro baseball. My brother Bubba played lacrosse in college and now surfs everyday. My sister played volleyball and basketball in high school and then volleyball at Colgate University and Santa Clara University.
FT: How long have you been playing baseball and how did you get your start in it?
JD: I started in little league when I was 5 years old. I remember watching my brother pitch then.
FT: What do you like about being a pitcher?
JD: I like pitching because I feel like I am in control of the game.
FT: What do you like best about baseball?
JD: I like playing with my friends and playing for a team.
FT: How did your senior year go? How do you feel you played?
JD: It was a good year. I felt like I continued to improve throughout the season. The coaches had a good plan in place for pitchers, and I think it was proven with the success we had.
FT: What was the most memorable moment of the season and why?
JD: My first game I pitched a no-hitter and I remember how excited my teammates and coaches were.
FT: Was it fun to play in the Optimist game? What did you enjoy about it?
JD: It was a great experience. I really enjoyed getting to know and playing with some of the players that I played against this season. I also got to see some players that I hadn’t seen in while.
FT: Have you ever been involved in any other sports?
JD: I played all the sports, including ice hockey, up and until my sophomore year when I began focusing on baseball.
FT: What was your favorite class in school and why?
JD: I liked math and 3-D design.
FT: Favorite Food?
FT: Favorite music?
JD: I like country, rock, and rap.
FT: Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
JD: I grew up with a bulldog named Maggie who died about a year ago. She was with me all the time and slept in my room. Last year we got another bulldog named Royce and he’s a lot of fun.
FT: Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
JD: I hang out with my friends, fish, golf, and play video games including Forte Night, of course.
FT: What inspires you in sports?
JD: I like the friendships I have made. We have all played together for a long time, so this year was the last year for us before we go off to our own colleges.
FT: What are your career goals? What job/career are you interested in?
JD: I think I would like to teach or work as physical therapist.