By Joe Machol
Harrison DiNicola, a junior at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 27th round, and was the 807th overall pick of the 2018 Major League Baseball draft.
Harrison, who changed his last name from Hill to DiNicola to honor his late father’s family, got the call June 6 and reported to camp in Jupiter, Fla., June 11.
Harrison played four years at Clear Creek High School under the tutelage of Coach Brent Kunefke. Harrison earned All-County, All-District and All-State honors, and played in the 2014 and 2015 Houston 6-A All-State Baseball Games, as a junior and senior. He played first base for the Islanders and was named second team All-Southland first baseman.
He started all 56 of the Islanders’ games in 2018, and led the club in homeruns with eight. He had a batting average of .321, with 27 extra base hits, 38 RBIs, and a .527 slugging percentage. His 16 doubles tied for sixth in the conference. Defensively Harrison had a .983 fielding percentage and helped turn 35 double plays. DiNicola bats left, is 6.0 tall and weighs 195 lbs.
Harrison – Harry to close friends — has had some great help along the way to meet his dream of becoming a major league baseball player. First and foremost, his parents Nick and Mary Hill. Mary played college golf at North Texas State University, and Nick played baseball at the University of Texas in Arlington. Harrison’s T-Ball coach, Judge Louie Ditta recognized that Harrison was a left-handed batter when he was 6 years old. Harrison played summer ball with the Wheelhouse for several years.
Gilbert Landestoy, manager of the Wheelhouse, took Harrison under his wing and was instrumental in Harrison’s development. He met his batting coach, Rene Aqueron, at the Wheelhouse, who taught him the finer points of hitting, and continues to instruct Harrison. Clear Creek baseball coach, Brent Kunefke still mentors Harrison in all aspects of the game.
Harrison has a work ethic second to none. He earned the strength and conditioning award at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi this spring, as the grinder of the year. He is “standard driven and has proven that hard work and help from family and friends can allow you to achieve your dreams! People who know Harrison will tell you that he is good person on and off the baseball field!