The baseball team is set to defend their regional title and make a consecutive trip to the Junior College World Series. First up in the sub-regional round for the Cavaliers is Pratt Community College. The Cavs are the four seed and will be a big favorite in most of their games. Head coach Kent Shelley knows that even with all the success the team had this season, that gets thrown out of the window postseason time.
“At this stage of the game, records and statistics don’t mean a thing,” Shelley said. “I know we’ll have to play extremely well to have an opportunity to advance.”
The Cavs bring in a critical amount of depth pitching-wise, with seven guys who have at least four wins on the season.
“Our starting pitching is getting us late into games, and when we do have to go to the bullpen, our setup guys and closer have done a great job,” Shelley said.
The Cavs also boast a tremendous offensive attack that has a school-record 101 home runs this season. Ben Calvano is one of those players in that offensive attack and says their success is crucial to the team with 18 home runs on the season.
“Our power numbers are really important to us, because they take a lot of pressure off our pitching, and we can go up by four or five runs,” Calvano said.
For Shelley, the Cavs just need to continue to play at the same level and intensity they have all season.
“Talent-wise we’re as good as anyone in the state,” Shelley said. “We need to just be ourselves, go into it relaxed, play hard, play aggressive and play smart.”
For Calvano, the success he has experienced at the college has been a long time coming.
“I haven’t been a part of a winning program before I got here,” Calvano said. “It would be awesome to have my name on the roster that says we won back-to-back championships and made it two straight Junior College World Series.”