Hayden Durke is all smiles after signing a baseball scholarship with the UL Ragin’
Cajuns. In the picture with Durke is his family and coach NV coaches and principal. At the table are brother Drew, Hayden, Tanya, his mother and Colby, his father. Standing are athletic director Jack LeBlanc, head baseball coach Jeremy Trahan and Principal Tommy Byler.
North Vermilion senior Hayden Durke signs on the dotted line.
North Vermilion’s Durke signs with Cajuns
North Vermilion pitcher Hayden Durke signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Early National Signing Day.
“It was a fun day, a good experience,” said Durke after signing the scholarship in front of his parents and his baseball teammates on Wednesday. “I wanted to go to UL because I love the culture, and they have a good baseball program. The program has good coaches, plus, it is close to home.”
Durke, a right-hander, stands 6-2 and weighs 210 pounds. He is considered one of the top 25 right-hand pitching prospects in the nation. He is a top-five baseball prospect in Louisiana.
The reason he is a top prospect is because of his fastball. Durke, who is related to NV graduate Todd Noel, can throw the heat. He has a 94-mile per hour fastball, and over the summer, his fastball was clocked at 97 during an all-star baseball game in Fenway Park in Boston.
He played in a New Balance Future Stars Series doubleheader at Fenway Park. He pitched two innings in the second game.
“That was one of the best memories I will ever have,” said Durke. “Pitching in the stadium makes you want to perform.”
In three years of pitching at NV, he has an overall record of 18-8 with 189 strikeouts.
He earned run average over the three years is 2.80. Last year he completed his junior year going 7-3.
While he can throw a fastball 94 miles per hour, the fastball is not his favorite pitch. He said his best pitch is a “12-6 curveball.” A 12-6 curveball is a pitch that starts in the 12 o’clock position and then drops to the 6 o’clock position when it gets to the plate.
He throws that pitch 84 miles per hour.
“That is my go-to pitch,” Durke said.
Heading into his senior year, Durke is healthy. Since eighth grade, that has not been the case. He has dealt with injuries to his wrist and a broken finger on his throwing hand in the last four years.
“My senior year, I am injury free,” he said.
Durke joins former NV baseball player Connor Dupuy on the Cajuns’ baseball roster.