The All-District 9-3A baseball team was recently announced and Callisburg was well represented with Sutten Tidwell named to the first team as an outfielder and Cameron Crisp, also an outfielder, named to the second team.
Tidwell is also the Wildcats’ ace on the mound and head coach Josh Hammock said he has seen the junior left-hander make progress with his pitches from last year.
“He was second team pitcher last year and he improved this year,” Hammock said. “It’s more than just being a pitcher. He was good last year, but this year, he really learned how to utilize his pitches better.
“He’s able to go deep into ball games, which is huge. He had several great performances. Every time he was on the mound, we were in the ball game.”
Hammock was also complimentary of Tidwell’s contribution on offense.
“He’s going to be in the lineup for us somewhere,” Hammock said. “He’s been in the No. 2 or 3 hole all year long. He’s a main centerpiece. With Sutten in [next year’s] lineup along with some other seniors, we’ll have a chance [for a playoff run]. We’ve got some guys around him that really look up to him.”
Crisp, a sophomore, played center field for the Wildcats.
Hammock said his athletic abilities are his primary asset.
“He’s starting to really improve on his baseball skills and, in my opinion, become a baseball player and not just an athlete that plays baseball,” Hammock said.
“He got some steals for us. He was the catalyst. He was in the No. 9 hole and get us going from down there. There were a lot of games [when] he produced.”
According to Hammock, an all-district selection can do wonders for both players’ confidence. “Sutten has aspirations to be a college player,” Hammock said. “He’s always wanting to see what else he can do.
“For Cameron, this is huge. He plays a lot of sports, so having other coaches notice him to select him, that’s a huge confidence boost for him. He’ll still play all the other sports and that makes it busy in the spring, but he’s one that can do it.”
In terms of his 2018 team, Hammock said the Wildcats’ season boiled down to a few close games.
Winning those games, he said, will be key to making the playoffs.
“With the nucleus we have, we can turn some of those close games into wins,” Hammock said. “In the second half through district, we were just on the wrong end of the stick. I think some of those games we can come out on the right side next year. We started three sophomores and two freshmen that will all be back next year.”
Hammock said he hopes the team can improve on the offensive side next season. “We have Sutton pitching, but we have to have our younger pitchers step up to keep us in ballgames when he’s not pitching,” Hammock said. “I think they’ll… meet that challenge. The main thing from the offensive standpoint is to continue to have that goal of scoring one run an inning.”
“If we can get base runners on and find a way to move one home an inning, that will help us win ball games.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip