A Habit of Winning: Lufkin’s Ditsworth Signs with Roadrunner Baseball

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Gary Stallard
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games. Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.

For virtually the entirety of his baseball career, Hunter Ditsworth has made a habit of winning.

He was part of the “Thundering 13” – the 2017 Lufkin Little League All-Star team that advance all the way to the Little League Championship game in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

He’s won in his high school career: As a pitcher, he led the 2022 Lufkin Panthers with an 11-1 record and a team-best 1.39 ERA. A workhorse for the Pack pitching staff, Ditsworth logged 75.67 innings, striking out 63 opposing hitters.

Beginning in the fall of 2022, Ditsworth will bring his winning mindset to the Angelina College Roadrunners after signing his letter of intent on Wednesday.

“I’m very excited,” Ditsworth said. “I’ve always heard good things about Angelina College, and Coach (Jeff) Livin has always coached me. He’s a great coach, and I’m ready to see where he can take me.

“I think I can help the team out on the mound. I’m just ready to get started.”

Livin said Ditsworth brings a noticeable competitive edge to his overall game.

“I’ve known Hunter since he was 10 or 11 years old, when Bud Maddux brought him over,” Livin said. “We started working with him, and the young man is a competitor beyond belief. He’s got great tools, and I think he’s got a chance to play a little of everything at our place. We’re going to give him a chance to swing the bat, and we’re certainly going to use him on the mound.

“I think the guy was undefeated as a pitcher until the very last game. There’s something to be said for someone who goes out and pitches like that. He’s got the tools to win ball games.”

Ditsworth has benefited from stellar coaching throughout his young career: His Little League coach was the legendary Maddux, who was present for Wednesday’s ceremony. Ditsworth has worked with Livin for several years, and he grew as a player under Lufkin head coach John Cobb, whose Panther team in 2022 won 30 games and finished a game away from the regional finals. Following the season, Ditsworth was named District 16-5A Pitcher of the Year.

Ditwsorth’s parents are Veronica and Michael Ditsworth.

The email address for AC’s Sports Information Director is gstallard@angelina.edu.

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