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All-Metro baseball pitcher of the year: Lafayette lefty Fladda adds to arsenal in a dominant season

All-Metro baseball pitcher of the year: Lafayette lefty Fladda adds to arsenal in a dominant season

From the 2021 All-Metro baseball series
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Boyd Manne is the head coach of both Lafayette's baseball and football programs.

On the diamond, Manne got to watch Luc Fladda spin magic from the pitcher’s mound. But Manne can’t help but wonder what Fladda could’ve done on the gridiron, too.

"We've talked about that all the time,” Manne said. “In my opinion, he's one of the best athletes we've had here at Lafayette.

"Whatever sport he wants to play, he'll be good at it. He's one of the greatest competitors I've been around in coaching."

There’s no doubt about Fladda’s abilities as a baseball player.

The 6-foot-1 left-hander and University of Oklahoma signee dominated hitters this season. He led the area in strikeouts (94), limited batters to a .147 batting average and posted a 1.17 earned run average in 54 innings pitched.

The 2021 Post-Dispatch All-Metro baseball pitcher of the year, Fladda also posted a 9-1 record on the mound — one of four pitchers in the area to post nine or more victories. He also had the sixth-best WHIP in the area at .81.

Not having a junior season because of the COVID-19 pandemic lit a fire under Fladda as he wanted to make sure he would finish out his career at Lafayette with a bang.

"There were a lot of records I would have liked to have broken at Lafayette but couldn't due to not having last year," Fladda said. "I just wanted to make sure I went all out and did the best I could."

Fladda helped Lafayette to a 22-8 overall record and the Suburban Conference Yellow Pool title.

The 22-victory season was the best for the Lancers since they were 23-9-1 in 2012.

While getting ready for his final high school season, Fladda worked on adding another pitch to his repertoire during time playing with his travel team, the Arkansas Prospects.

"I figured he could really use a cutter off that two-seam fastball," Prospects coach Evan Lee said. "We started getting to work on it and he really picked it up quick. He really liked how we were going to attack people and the rest is history."

Fladda had been able to throw three pitches consistently for strikes, but adding the cutter as a fourth pitch gave him an edge.

Though Fladda still leans towards his changeup and curveball, the cutter has become a major part of his arsenal depending on whatever is working best on any given night.

"It's always there for me," Fladda said. "I can always throw (the cutter) for a strike. It may not move that much, but I can always throw it for a strike."

Next up for Fladda will be battles against Big 12 competition.

Manne can’t wait to watch what the former Lancer does in Norman.

"They're getting a great young man," Manne said. "He's willing to help everyone. He leads by example. He always goes 110 percent. He's just a great young man who's respectful. I'm going to miss being able to talk to him in PE class or the hallway. Talk about baseball, game plan and life in general."

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