CL Baseball Stays Ready for Some, ‘Play Ball’!!
Canyon Lake Baseball was well positioned to make a serious run for a playoff as well as a district championship when the Chinese Virus stopped all high school sports by the middle of March.
This Senior bunch of players are an integral part in getting this Hawk team with 12 wins before district play started which is a first in a short history of CL baseball. In fact, it was 2010 when Canyon Lake had a win total of 15 after being just one out short of going 3 rounds in the post season that year.
That 2010 Hawk team had a combination of pitching and batting and up to this season had the best pitcher with Cody Breest who still leads with 11 all-time wins but that number is under assault from Tanner Schultz and Tyler Pauly.
Pitching is the strong suit for this year’s team and Schultz and Pauly both have better earned run averages (era) than Breest and all have pitched bout the same amount of innings. The Hawks have a wealth of arms with other pitchers that have performed well this season.
Career Pitcher ip h r er bb so era Tyler Pauly 72.0 71 43 25 20 87 2.43 Tanner Schultz 66.0 68 35 23 16 61 2.44 Cody Breest 79.1 73 41 28 29 87 2.48 2020 Season Pitching Starters Cale Claycomb 7.2 1 2 0 9 13 0.00 Tyler Pauly 30.0 12 3 1 7 33 0.23 Tanner Schultz 23.0 10 3 1 4 26 0.30 Matt Anderson 18.1 10 6 2 6 14 0.77
Those numbers speak volumes as the team’s earned run average is a paltry 0.64 at this writing. And this crew of Arms has a better than two to one ratio of walks to strikeouts and have given up an average of .44% hits per inning.
To help matters even more is having these past 3 years with a steady improvement of fielding which is helpful for pitchers reducing their number of batters faced per inning due to fewer errors.
Top 5 Seasons based on Fielding: Season Percentage 1) 2020 .942 2) 2019 .928 3) 2018 .904 4) 2011 .900 5) 2016 .871
Batting is at it’s best up to this time of the season by just out distancing that 2009 team by .001 percentage point. CL has not been a good hitting team during their tenure but are showing signs that this facet of baseball could rise to the levels of how Canyon Lake’s pitching and fielding has improved.
Top 5 Seasons Batting Average 1) 2020 .284 2) 2009 .283 3) 2019 .275 4) 2011 .252 5) 2010 .238 The Past 5 Seasons Batting Average 1) 2020 .284 2) 2019 .275 3) 2018 .215 4) 2017 .163 5) 2016 .211
This shows the Hawk Nation, that when or if the Baseball Season starts up, it would be a good time to go to the Diamond to watch these CL Players perform.
In waiting for the month of May for a start up would have CL’s Sports performing at a break neck speed with a reduction of games to seed the district for post-season play. Not only in Baseball but Soccer, Softball, Track & Field, etc.
Based on how far each group would qualify, these sports would have a good chance of stretching into the month of June.
The ReSporter had a chance to ‘Zoom’ in with the Seniors for this year’s team to see how this break is affecting them and their thoughts on a chance to return to the ball-field.
Caleb Williams Brandon Robinson Cale Claycomb Mason Lee Matt Anderson Ethan Slater
On what they think bout their chances in a double elimination tournament for District 28-4A seeding:
Williams: “Our depth with pitching gives us confidence and we were just 2 outs away from being 14 and 0 and we have 4 starters (that are good) and they (Llano) just have two.”
That was mentioned because Llano might be the favorite for district this season with two of their starters from last year’s team back and having fine seasons.
Robinson: “Yeah, that same thing….with our pitching we will just have to put hands down and get to work because it will be a more fast pace with a round robin but that fits into our strength.”
The Seniors were shown a Top 25 in the THSB Poll that did not have Canyon Lake mentioned but Llano was ranked 17th in that Poll while having three schools that have had many previous campaigns of good teams (Wimberley, Fredericksburg, and Boerne) that should have The Lake as the underdog.
Robinson: “Not getting any mention (in the polls) will give us a surge.”
Slater: “That gives us a passion to play harder.”
Lee: “As Seniors we will need to speak and supply the energy for the team and work on getting that spark again….” Lee was speaking bout the delay between the last game and when the next time to play will work, against or for. this Hawk team.
Williams: “We will need to learn to keep in control and let our passion take over….” Williams said in how he learned a valuable lesson after he had an incident earlier this season after a play did not go his way and was thrown out of the contest. It was against one of the teams that beat CL in their final at bat while Williams was on the bench.
On which game was the Hawks best win this year?
Matt Anderson: “I was not happy that we had lost in our earlier game (Medina Valley), but I just threw strikes to finish that win.”
Canyon Lake had an opportunity to play Medina Valley right after that loss in MV’s own tournament that had Anderson pitching the last inning to redeem that earlier loss.
Williams: “Especially since that game was on their own turf,” Williams too, said the MV game was CL’s best this season for his reason above. “I think they thought they could beat us again.”
Cale Claycomb was asked his thoughts on being called on near the end of games especially since he is the only south-paw on the team, “I just come in and I try to throw strikes….I like to pitch from behind and I like the pressure in playing later in the game when it really matters.”
Robinson (.391) was asked how he approaches his, at bats, since this player is presently at the top with the All-Time Batting Average column.
“I just want to get solid contact and Coach (Escamilla) has been working with me…on my form and getting my strides…but if I can stayi on top of the ball, then good things will happen.”
Williams was asked his approach as the lead-off hitter, “I just want to get on base and I enjoy being in those pressure situations.”
On what these players have been doing to stay sharp and ready for game action again.
Anderson: “I’m pitching and batting every day and have been using a weighted ball.”
Claycomb: “Yeah, I throw with a heavy ball… me and my Dad go out to the Lake and throw.”
Slater: “I’m working on being more aggressive at the plate and just try to put the ball in play,” Slater was talking on how well his batting had improved during the last two week’s of action.
Head Coach Escamilla explained the importance of having a team that has worked 94 walks this year and how that puts pressure on opposing teams, “I want them to be aggressive but sometimes just setting back and seeing a lot of pitches has given us a 1 to 1 ratio compared to strikeouts. On the pitching side, we are doing well with having a 2 to 1 ratio of strikeouts to base on balls.”
That has paid dividends this season with teams that are on pitch counts for each pitcher and that can, many times, have a good pitcher not being able to complete a game when his pitch count has expired.
A good group of players that are enjoying a great season thus far as they wait for that one last chance to take the field and ‘Play Ball’.
Hope your chance comes soon and Let’s Go Hawks!!!