Many baseball teams have what can be termed a set rotation, with pitchers getting starting assignments based on who was on the mound the last game or two.
For Parker Loutensock, a junior at Cyprus High, the rotation goes something like this: If it's a big game or a tougher situation than usual, he gets the ball.
"I throw him against the better teams or on the road," Cyprus coach Bob Fratto said of Loutensock. "He rarely gets to pitch at home."
The Pirates standout, who has struck out 21 batters over his last two starts while issuing only one walk, is getting used to taking a leading role. Fratto said Loutensock started becoming his team's top option on the mound last season.
"It was a lot to put on a sophomore," Fratto said. "Even as a freshman, he was starting games."
Loutensock and his fellow pitchers, including his older brother Collin Loutensock, Dustin Riley and Colton Squire, are a major strength for Cyprus, which entered the week 5-8.
The Pirates began the season with a pair of losses, then dropped three games at a tournament in Las Vegas. But the strength of those teams, as well as Cyprus' improved play since, gives the team reason to believe it can progress to the postseason and beyond.
"We're doing pretty good," Parker Loutensock said. "Before region, we played Davis and Taylorsville, but we're playing well now. Our main goal is to win region."
Fratto said that aside from a stretch of a few midseason games where several defensive lapses occurred, the most consistent problem for Cyprus has been hitting. Loutensock at times has helped out with the stick, especially in a March win over Hunter when he found the gaps for a pair of triples.
But pitching still is the name of the game for Loutensock, who is hoping his skills can translate to the collegiate level.
"My dreams are to go to Texas, but I wouldn't mind Arizona State or the U," he said.