William Frazier is left-handed. Lee Harrison is a righty.
Frazier is a student of the game and a crafty pitcher. Harrison just tries to throw it hard over the plate.
Their approaches may be different but the results are the same: Senior captains Frazier and Harrison led the Charlotte Country Day baseball team to a 15-game win streak this season and a tie for first place in the Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association.
"Both of these guys are the heart and soul of our team," said coach Mike Hennessey, who is in his sixth season leading the Buccaneers. "They're two different kind of guys but they really help create the type of team that we are."
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Frazier, 18, is the team's No. 1 pitcher, with a 6-0 record, a 1.16 ERA and 46 strikeouts. He will play next year at Western Carolina, rooming with Myers Park's Tyler Powell. Frazier came to Country Day (15-2, 6-0 through April 20) from Cannon School his sophomore year and was all-state his first year.
Hennessey called the 5-foot-11 Frazier a student of the game. He watches tapes of his performances, watches major league players and is constantly working to get better, even talking with coaches about mechanics between innings.
Frazier is quiet but focused and intense. "He's a pitcher. He doesn't overpower you," said Hennessey. "He knows how to out-pitch you, and he's done that for three years."
Harrison, 6-foot-3, wants to overpower you. He was an all-conference receiver and safety for the state-champion football team in the fall and also played basketball. He brings that same intensity to the mound.
Harrison "brings that mental toughness," said Hennessey. "He's going to bear down and come right at you every pitch, every inning."
Harrison, who has been at Country Day since kindergarten, is young for his grade, at 17, and plans to go to a prep school, Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., to play football and baseball and improve his recruiting stock. He's not sure which sport he wants to focus on.
Harrison is usually the team's third starter but often comes in to close games for Frazier. He's 4-1 this year, with 28 strikeouts and a .59 ERA. He joined varsity last year and was all-conference and all-state.
He throws slightly sidearm, and his approach to pitching is much simpler than Frazier's.
"I just try and throw," said Harrison. "I'm not really a mechanics kind of guy. ... I just try to throw strikes."
Harrison aggressiveness, which comes from the football field, is having an impact on the team's record.
"In football, you go into the game thinking, 'We're going to win this game, there's no way we're going to lose,'" he said. "I think in baseball at Country Day, we haven't really looked at the games that way."
Harrison tried to change that this year, and so far it has worked. After losing a close game to Marvin Ridge in the season-opener, Country Day won 15 straight, including four in a tournament in Florida and sweeps of rivals Cannon School and Charlotte Latin.
But that first loss has stuck with the team. The Bucs had the lead going into the sixth inning, when Harrison came in to pitch. Errors allowed Marvin Ridge to score two runs and take the win. Even though none of the runs were earned, Harrison got the loss.
"That first loss really, I think, pissed everybody off a little bit," said Harrison. "We should have won that game. (Frazier) pitched an amazing game and I lost it, but we should have won."
After playing against each other in various leagues growing up, the two enjoy playing together at Country Day. They enjoy pitching in the same games and they usually bat second (Frazier) and third (Harrison) in the lineup.
"I love watching this kid hit," said Harrison.
"I love having him come in and finish off the game for me when I'm pitching, too," said Frazier.
When he's not pitching, Frazier plays right field; Harrison starts at shortstop.
They've also had a lot of success at the plate. Harrison is batting .453 with 20 RBIs and Frazier hits .444 with 14 RBIs.
More than any stats, Frazier and Harrison said, the team's success has come from how the players work together. They have bonded well and have good camaraderie. In the past, Country Day has lost games it shouldn't have. By working hard and pushing their teammates in practice, the seniors are trying to change that this year.
"We know what we're capable of and we're not afraid to do it anymore," said Frazier. "We just go out and expect to win and get it done."
The Bucs showed they could play with south Charlotte public teams, too, beating Myers Park in the Jack Sink Baseball Invitational last week.
"We're really excited about this tournament because we really measure ourselves against these public schools," said Hennessey after the game against Myers Park. "This is a good start for us."
The Bucs hope to continue their success this week when they play a three-game series against Charlotte Christian, starting Thursday. The winner of the series will have the outright lead in the CISAA.
Country Day has lost in the semifinals of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A tournament each of the last three years. Frazier said this year will be different.
"We're hot right now, and I don't think it's going to stop anytime soon," he said.