KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WATE) – Farragut high school is a baseball factory, sending 21 players to the big leagues. 

“You have to really compete to play here,” said Admirals’ senior pitcher Ashton Sulack.

But Sulack had to compete to play the game in general. 

“I haven’t pitched much in my career to be honest until this year,” said Sulack. “Freshman year, I think I pitched like two innings just because it got cut short from COVID. Then I pitched twice my sophomore year, probably seven innings total. I got hurt. It was a growth plate issue. Last year I threw 11 innings.”

This season, he’s pitched over 30 innings, more than his first three seasons combined.

“He had some tough times last year on the mound,” said Farragut baseball Head Coach Matt Buckner. “I always thought he was going to be pretty good. We just didn’t know when he was going to grow. In the last five, six months we could tell he was almost a different being.”

“I was kind of discouraged this past August,” said Sulack. “I kind of lost the love for the game. My parents just told me to keep going and I just slowly saw improvements throughout the fall and kind of gained the love again.”

That new found love has turned into a new found opportunity. Sulack will join the Vols on Rocky Top next year. 

“He’s left handed, number one,” said Buckner. “He’s going to be a pretty big man at some point. Potential’s pretty good. I think he’s just scratching the surface and I think they (Tennessee) saw that too.”

With nearly two dozen alumni reaching the  professional level, it’s an unlikely star that may be the next to represent the Admirals on baseball’s biggest stage.