As the area's 2A soccer player of the year, it seemed Matt Horrigan could score from anywhere on the field. In his spring role as leadoff man for the Pusch Ridge Christian Lions baseball team, it seems like he can score from anywhere on the diamond, too.
Batting leadoff, Horrigan had one hit and drew two walks in a 10-7 win at Empire on Friday. Horrigan also had an impact on the bases, going from first to third on a wild pickoff throw, and scoring on a hit.
He's handling the catching duties at Pusch Ridge this season. "I don't like catching," he admitted. So what does he like about baseball? "Stealing bases and diving."
Baseball coach Mark Frithsen is in his first year coaching the team.
"Matt's a blessed athlete who can play a lot of sports," Frithsen said. "He's doing a great job as catcher and outfielder."
Why does Horrigan bat leadoff?
"He's got a good eye," Frithsen said. "He's fast on the base paths, and has a great on-base percentage."
While Horrigan may not enjoy catching, he likes his place in the batting order.
"I'm really patient," Horrigan said. "I like to hug the plate."
Soccer remains a real love.
At the start of the school year, Horrigan brainstormed about a lofty goal.
"I wanted to be player-of-the-year in soccer," Horrigan said. "It was a long shot."
As happy as he was for the impressive accomplishment, Horrigan seemed equally disappointed with not getting the state championship. The Lions lost to Northwest Christian, 3-2.
"It was probably the hardest moment of my soccer career," Horrigan said.
Horrigan did win a state title with last year's baseball team. "Getting that ring was good," Horrigan said. "But it's not the same. I wanted the one in soccer. They (NW Christian) weren't that great."
Before that loss, Pusch Ridge had a 20-match soccer win streak this season, uncharted territory for the squad.
"We had never been that far before," Horrigan said.
Despite the loss, the Lions became the only team to score multiple goals in a game against NW Christian.
Cody Woody and Chad Springetti led the Lions with 23 goals each. Horrigan had 15 goals and 17 assists, the most in the Tucson-area. His combined point-total of 32 was topped only by CDO standout Donny Toia, with 47, and Woody with 39.
Horrigan has received some scholarship offers. He's leaning toward continued studies and soccer playing at Lubbock Christian.
He sees commonality between soccer and baseball.
"When you face the pitcher, it puts the pressure on you." It's just batter and pitcher.
"The penalty kicks in soccer are one-on-one," Horrigan said. "That's the best part."