Excessive College Baseball: By no means Rely the Cougars – Salisbury Publish
Posted by Mike London
Fourth in a series of reports on local teams …
CHINA GROVE – Ten miles away, East Rowan has four real No. 1 pitchers, three of which are Division I recruits.
In contrast, Carson starts over on the hill. The five guys who threw innings in the shortened 2020 season are all gone.
However, history tells us that coach Chris Cauble and the Cougars will be a factor in the North Piedmont Conference race.
They are going to find out so no one is counting them out.
Some guys who have never played a lot are likely to become household names by June. Always there, seniors like CP Pyle and Jake Harris will have career years.
“We’re inexperienced on the hill, but we have people we think can do the job,” said Cauble. “We have good players. We have a very good team speed that we normally don’t have. We have a very strong outfield, people who can run and throw and play any of the three courses. “
Carson is versatile. Pyle, the midfielder, can play some games on the second base. Caden Hudson will be a major outfielder, but he will also show up on third base as the Cougars try to get all of their best athletes on the field. They are mixed and matched depending on who is pitching.
Pyle, Catawba Valley and Hudson, Cleveland Counties are community college signatories.
But pitching makes up 60 to 75 percent of this game. That’ll do or break the cougars.
Catawba recruit Dylan Driver hasn’t really made his decision to go to Carson, but he did prove he can be a stallion both on the hill and on the plate over the summer months in NC3 baseball at Newman Park. The driver had one of the biggest offensive starts in the county’s history when the 2020 season was canceled.
“The driver will be arm # 1, the contact person,” said Cauble. “He would have beaten quite a lot last year if we had had a normal season.”
The No. 2 pitcher will be Hayden Simmerson, a hard-throwing sophomore. Simmerson has suffered two knee injuries – a duck hunt and a deer hunt – and is due to do some minor cleanup after the spring and summer baseball season, but he’s ready to go. He saved the opening night with an exciting 9-9 win in Davie County and hit the final blow with third place.
“He’ll be wearing knee braces but he’s got really good things,” said Cauble. “He doesn’t just throw hard. It has a slider, a curve, and an alternation. “
Mason Duren will be the third pitcher and can fling long or short reliefs. He has appeared in many Jayvee and Junior Legion games for Carson.
“He’s got a knack for getting guys out,” said Cauble.
Emory Taylor, Aaron Coe, and Owen Blackwelder could get a couple of innings.
The season’s starting catcher is the second Cameron Burleyson to return from surgery and rehab that kicked him out of basketball season. He won the job during the Spring League. Carson also has senior catchers Richard Prange and Zack Proctor.
The outfield will include Driver, Pyle and Hudson, all of whom stood out for the Rowan NC3 summer team. They bring speed, gloves and strength to the table. Pyle has been a starter since his first season.
TJ Jones, a senior, will get his first chance to play a key role. He will be in the outfield when the driver is on the field or when Hudson or Pyle move into the infield.
Coe, Caden Cable and Aaron Bradshaw are potential outfielders. Bradshaw swings the club well enough to get DH and pinch opportunities.
Harris will be the first baseman and will be counted to run mid-lineup runs. Garrison Collins supports him.
Jordan King, a transfer from East Rowan, is a first baseman who will get the majority of the DH bats. He had three RBIs on opening night.
Another good athlete, Hunter Burris, usually starts on second base, although Pyle could see there for some time.
Taylor should be a great asset both offensively and defensively. The second year already has a huge impact on Carson’s basketball and soccer.
“He’s really a special athlete in all three of the sports and you don’t see these guys that much anymore,” said Cauble.
Taylor, who had a triple in the opener, has the speed to play the outfield, but Carson will usually ask him to manage shortstop.
Simmerson is a heavily armed athlete who can play shortstop or third base when he’s not serving.
Hudson will play a third. Blackwelder, Carter Dowd, and Samuel Safrit are other third base options.
“We’ll be young in the infield, especially when I look at our outfield,” said Cauble.
Carson only managed three hits in a fight against Marvin Ridge, but the Cougars beat Davie 16 on the opening night. Seven players had two each.
“A pleasant surprise,” said Cauble. “Sixteen hits and even most of our outs were hit hard. And we showed a lot when we were 4-0 early on. We didn’t come down. Davie has a good team but we got in and responded with a lot of hits. “
At this point, Statesville is expected to put a team up, which is important. Every conference win is critical to the playoff structure of this COVID season. Only the NPC champion is guaranteed a 3A playoff berth, although placeholders are possible. Two wins against Statesville would be helpful in starting to figure out wildcard percentages.
If the pitching holds, Carson should be on the lookout for all the banners.
“East has dominant pitching and West Rowan will be strong,” said Cauble. “North Iredell has a stud pitcher so they’ll be hard to beat at least once a week. South Iredell can really score. It’s a good league. We look forward to the challenge. “
Carson baseball look
Coach: Chris Cauble (Season 16, 248-118 with Carson, Rowan County head coach record 384-173)
Players to watch: CF CP Pyle, OF / P Dylan driver, 1B Jake Harris, OF / 3B Caden Hudson
Key Youth: P / IF Hayden Simmerson, SS Emory Taylor
Major losses: Zeb Burns, Logan Rogers, Ryan Street, Jake Davis, Aaron Misenheimer, and Chase Drinkard
2019 record: 28-4 total (school record)
Record 2020: 4-2
2021 record: 1-0
Regular conference season championships (3): 2013, 2018, 2019