By Jeremy McDonald
EUGENE, Ore.– Call it a Tandem. Call it a Duo or even a pair like with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday from Tombstone.
For identical twins Grant and Griffin Henry of North Marion High School, the two have been in unicen this year when it comes to pitching and catching.
The emergence of Griff as a pitcher comes after breaking his arm his freshman year and not playing for the Huskies in 2016 and brother Grant comes after seeing limited time on the Varsity level despite the obvious talents of both on the bump, in the field and with their bats.
Fast forward to their sophomore season, though Grant threw one of the few Perfect Games against Stayton during the Randy Brack-era, but it was Griffin who won co-Pitcher of the Year and was named to the First-team as a pitcher.
As for Grant, catching for his brother was something special as well as he too was named to the first-team from behind the dish.
“Everything is just clicking for both Griff and I,” said Grant. “He’s pitching his command pretty well. Its good, feeling the zone, all of his pitches. It kind of gets easier and easier because I know what he’s going to throw, I kind of know what Tucker (Brack) is going to call. So I give him the sign and he usually, usually does the thing I throw to him.”53
Smiling a few steps away was Griffin, who was coming off a six strikeout game in three-and-a-third innings that’s coming off the heels of a eight-strikeout, five-inning game in the Single-A State Title game against Roseburg Sunday afternoon in Aurora.
The bond between the two is something special, something that is becoming easier to do on a regular basis describes Griff on pitching to Grant.
“Well I can tell you this, it’s easier to pitch to him then to anyone else because I know he’s protected back there,” said Griff on the bond between him and Grant. “I know if I have a couple bad throws, he’s going to back me up so I can throw my stuff and he’s going to be there.”
Call it twin telepathy or whatever it might be, but whenever the two aren’t out striking out opposing batters, picking base-runners off or hitting where they ain’t; the two are in the dugout, being the jokesters when they need to be while being supportive as teammates when the time calls.
“It’s pretty fun, we have a lot of fun in the dugout, make our teammates laugh, have a good time,” said Griffin Henry. “We always try to get our teammates going. Just trying to have confidence in each other, it’s big.”
Grant points out that Griff is the more goofy one out of the two of them, and case in point was after their 16-2 victory to start the Northwest Regional Tournament when Griffin was making what he called a ‘Spongebob’-laugh to crack up those still in the dugout as they leave the ballpark for the night.
“He always does weird stuff that makes everybody laugh,” said Grant as Griffin gives him a look of, ‘what are you talking about?’
“Yeah you always do stuff that makes people laugh,” said Grant in response to Griff’s look.
And as the North Willamette Valley squad they are on, North Marion’s Single-A Summer team, makes the trek through the Regional Tournament in Eugene, the boy’s know that there is still more to come ahead of them.
“Freshman year, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” “But the last couple of weeks, at State, the end of our league season this year in the summer; it’s really coming together. I’m starting to swing every single game and pithcing well. Pitching wise, freshman year I didn’t pitch that much, but this year I’ve gotten my time and I’ve made strides everytime I got up.”
“My main position is pitching so I focusing on just hitting my spots every time, the best I can,” “State Tournament, we had some great success and I know that’s the best I’ve hit in a while, so I’m just hoping that can carry over to Regional tournament.”