Isaiah Deutsch hasn’t played baseball for Brophy since 2012, but by no means is the program completely out of his system.

All you have to do is take a peek under his Desert Vista cap where it reads, “A.M.D.G.” underneath a hand-written cross.

It stands for, “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam,” which translates to, “for the greater glory of God.”

“I’m glad what I did,” Deutsch said about starting out at Brophy and transferring to Desert Vista. “I got everything out of it as I wanted and now I am exactly where I want to be.”

Where he just happens to be is in the middle of the Thunder lineup and a top starter in the rotation for Desert Vista, which started the week with a 13-3 win over Desert Mountain to improve to 12-5 overall and 3-3 in the power rankings.

Deutsch is one of the many reasons why the Thunder has played so consistently this year. He comes from the same mold as everyone else.

“He grew up here,” Thunder coach Stan Luketich said. “He is like all the other kids. He works hard and is a good team guy.”

Partly because Deutsch, who began the week hitting .327 (18 for 55) with 13 runs, a team-high three home runs, nine RBIs with three stolen bases, has either played with or against most of the senior class the Thunder has littered throughout the lineup.

“The team plays hard, practices hard, and plays the game the right way,” the left-handed Deutsch said. “It’s hard for me to believe I wasn’t here the whole time.”

Those sentiments were echoed by fellow senior and former neighbor Garrison Schwartz.

“He’s brought a lot of talent to our team,” Schwartz said. “Along with a good attitude and fun guy to have around. I’ve lived next to him for awhile and when he decided to come to DV I was super hyped. It’s like he’s been there all four years.”

Instead, Deutsch is in his second year with the Thunder after playing his first two years at Brophy at the varsity level before transferring to his home school of Desert Vista last year. Per Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) rules, he had to sit out a year.

Not everyone does well with the down time. All work and no payoff can lead to discontent or boredom. It has to be embraced fully or it can go the other direction in a hurry.

“He worked as hard as anybody last year on the team and the dividends are paying off now,” Luketich said.

It made putting a Thunder cap and uniform on this year even sweeter.

“It was pretty special,” said Deutsch, who is 3-3 with a 2.57 ERA in a team-high 30 innings. “I was with them all last year, but I had to wear the practice uniform. It felt good.”

He also feels good about a decision he made years ago when he committed to Pepperdine as a freshman after being seen by Waves coach Steve Rodriguez in New Mexico while pitching Team Arizona’s squad in the Sr. Classic in New Mexico.

“I’ve been looking forward to it for years,” said Deutsch, who plans on majoring in sports marketing. “It’s right around the corner.”

Of course before then there is another month-and-a-half of his senior season with the team he wanted to be with all along.

“I came back for this season,” Deutsch said. “I knew there was a lot of talent here. If we work hard enough, stay on top of our game and stay healthy, we can keep it going. We have to keep doing all the little things right and everything else will take care of itself.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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