Closing out his career in style, Bastrop High senior shortstop Ty Cantrell is having a fine all-around season.
Offensively, he leads the team with a .347 batting average, 25 hits, 10 stolen bases and is tied for tops on the team with his twin brother, Cade, with a .472 on-base percentage. Bastrop coach Whit Whitlock says an injury to his left (non-throwing) shoulder hindered Ty's production for a stretch of several games.
"Ty started off the year extremely hot," Bastrop coach Whit Whitlock said, "but he hurt his shoulder diving for a ball in batting practice one day. He lost a lot of strength and dexterity and couldn't push the bat through like he normally does, so he went into a slump. He's just started to hit again the last seven or eight games."
Doing whatever it takes to get on base, Ty Cantrell has been hit by a pitch 10 times this season.
"Ty's a magnet. It seems like he gets hit every other game," Whitlock said. "He finds a way to get on base. The guys who are fundamentally sound and do things the right way can really succeed in high school baseball."
After spending his entire high school career at second base, the 3.7 student has switched to shortstop this season. Predictably, there was a transition phase, but he has made the adjustment.
"Ty's gotten the throw down," Whitlock said. "He was pushing his throw, then he was pulling. Now he's just relaxing. He's gotten a lot more fluid with his throw the last 10-15 games."
Top 1st: When did you start playing baseball?
Ty Cantrell: I played for Crawdaddy's the first year I could play T-Ball.
Bottom 1st: What memory sticks out from your first season?
Cantrell: I remember Cade running to third base instead of first.
Top 2nd: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of baseball?
Cantrell: I hate the long bus rides.
My favorite part is getting to play the game with my teammates.
Bottom 2nd: What was it like to be able to play with your two brothers?
Cantrell: We missed getting to play high school ball together by a year, but we all played summer ball together. It was great. Not many brothers get to do that.
Top 3rd: Who is the best baseball player of the three Cantrell brothers?
Cantrell: I guess me, but I don't like to say it (laughing).
People will come up to me and say, 'You're better than Cade,' or 'Cade's better than you,' but usually they're just saying it to be mean.
Page 2 of 2 - Bottom 3rd: On a more serious note, what is the biggest improvement you have made since your freshman year?
Cantrell: I would have to say my fielding. My fielding wasn't that good, but coach (John) Bolton has worked with me and helped me out a lot.
Top 4th: How difficult was the move to shortstop from second base?
Cantrell: It was pretty hard at first because I was kind of getting used to it. It's a harder throw from shortstop. I played shortstop and pitched when I was younger. As I got older, my arm didn't get any stronger, so I played second base when I got to high school.
Bottom 4th: Who is the toughest pitcher you have ever faced?
Cantrell: The pitcher from LaSalle my freshman year is probably the best I've ever batted against.
Matt Reeves from Neville is pretty good, too.
Top 5th: Do you have any baseball superstitions?
Cantrell: A lot of people do, but I don't have any.
We didn't pray Saturday. I remember looking over at Franklin Parish and they were praying and we weren't. I remember saying, 'We need to pray,' but we never did. We ended up losing the game, 2-1, so maybe that had something to do with it.
Bottom 5th: If you could go back and change one thing about your high school athletic career, what would it be?
Cantrell: I wish I could go back to my freshman year and have the same mindset that I have now.
Top 6th: What are you going to miss the most about playing high school baseball?
Cantrell: I'm going to miss being with my teammates and playing the game.
Bottom 6th: What are your summer plans?
Cantrell: Hopefully, I can get a job. I've started playing tennis — that's going to be my new sport.
Top 7th: What are your future plans?
Cantrell: I plan on going to UAM and majoring in electro-mechanical technology. They have an electrician's class and a welding class. I'm not sure which one I'm going into yet. I'll figure it out when I get there.
Bottom 7th: Why electro-mechanical technology?
Cantrell: My brother (Cole) has taught us about valve work, and I think I would like being an electrician.