Canyon Lake Baseball Looks to Rebound
It wasn’t that long ago that the Canyon Lake Baseball team was coming back from a second round loss to Hidalgo after taking the 27-5 team to a three game playoff and one hit from making the third round.
The Hawks were then hit with a slew of injuries and players moving to give the 2011 season a rebuilding campaign.
So now, one year later, Canyon Lake will now enter this season with only one returning Senior (Dylan Adams) and two strong classes that have the potential to surprise some district foes.
How about, Travis Walker in his third year on the varsity. The catcher/third baseman/pitcher will be wearing a lot of hats.
Walker will have a lot of records when this season comes to an end with another year still beckoning. Walker only needs 31 more at bats, 12 walks, one homerun, three doubles, 17 more hits, 10 rbi’s, and 25 more stolen bases, to be number one in all those categories.
Noted that the stolen base record still looks safe, but The ReSporter just wanted Walker to have something to chase (pardon the pun) this season.
The other Juniors will be in their second full year. Daniel Camarillo finished with a .360 batting average while Logan Felch finished at .340 last year.
Kyler Huff’s year was cut short with a broken jaw, but was a very important cog to last years team pitching and fielding.
Michael Brady finished with a .298 batting average playing first base/catcher/and pitcher in his first year of Varsity competition.
Head Coach Trent Dunavant mentioned all last season on how his team had Sophomores pitching and batting against teams dominated with Seniors.
Now this year the players will close the gap with age and the experience gained last season will help this Hawk team to compete on a more level field.
“We are going to see where the guys fit the best,” Coach Trent Dunavant said. “We have more speed and that should allow us to put more pressure on teams.”
Coach Dunavant mentioned another aspect that should help in CL to compete in District 26-3A.
“The bats,” Dunavant hit away. “The batter will have to square up and hit the sweet spot because the UIL has deadened the bat this season. That will also cause the balls to hang in the air more and slow the ground balls in the infield.”
Coach Dunavant has always accentuated defense, but many times with the live bats of yesteryear, all defenses could do is watch as good pitches were hit in the gap or over the fence.
“The new bats will help us out,” Dunavant repeated. “It brings baseball back to where it was meant to be.”
Those same bats will also improve the pitching and bring scores down.
Canyon Lake will have to be on their game defensively and pitching in order to put them above their district competition.
“Our pitchers will need good pitches in and out,” Coach Dunavant said strategically. “Our pitchers will need to throw strikes and let the defense do the rest.”
District 26-3A will have a different schedule this season as each team plays a three game series. Each team plays at least one home or two home games with each district opponent.
“The three times will allow us to see the number two and three pitchers,” Head Coach Dunavant said.
With the old system a team would only need two pitchers to dominate the district and now three pitchers or more depth will help level teams and records.
Last season the Hawks finished with nine or 10 players to start a game. Decisions would be based on how many players were on the bench or how many pitches had been thrown.
To interview Coach Dunavant after a game last year was greeted with frustration, as he looked down into the dug out and seeing one reserve to help in any given situation.
Now, Canyon Lake will start with a full compliment of players and a Freshman team to work with for the next season.
“This gives us a lot of options and a large majority (of Freshman) have been in our camps,” Coach Dunavant said gleefully.
Now the fun begins as CL finishes their first week of practice and this team readies for their first scrimmage, Monday February 6th. First pitch will be 5pm against Llano at the Hawk Diamond.