• Burleson sophomore Colton McCallum shared District 9-5A Offensive Player of the Year honors. BURLESON STAR/RICKY NOORE

McCallum shares 9-5A offensive award

An arm injury didn’t slow down Colton McCallum at the plate.

The Burleson sophomore couldn’t play shortstop but was able to serve as the Elks designated hitter. McCallum savored the role tearing up District 9-5A pitching hitting .438 in 14 games.

The coaches in 9-5A recognized McCallum’s play as he shared Offensive Player of Year honors with Cleburne sophomore Slayton Day.

“Even with his arm hurt we couldn’t help but keep him in the DH spot,” Burleson coach Daniel Bruce said. “He’s played a lot of baseball. That’s the only sport he plays. He’s a different cat when it comes to baseball. He takes everything personally. Anytime someone tries to strike him out or get him out, he takes it personally. He is trying to get on base everytime.”

McCallum finished district play with seven RBI, 10 runs scores, seven doubles, three triples and one home run.

The Elks missed out on the playoffs going 5-9 in district and 13-17 overall.

Bruce called the season disappointing. Part of the problem was the loss of pitcher Hayden Alexander for the majority of district play. The Dallas Baptist signee tossed just four innings in district play.

“Hayden getting hurt didn’t help us,” Bruce said. “But we have to find a way to pick him up on the mound. We have to find that pitching and be better prepared depth wise. Next year, we will have more guys who are pitchers and play another position instead of position player who also pitch. We have to have more pitchers.”

A pair of Elks - senior pitcher Kayden Cassidy and sophomore outfielder Blake Myers - gained first-team honors

Cassidy, a four-year varsity starter, went 2-2 for Burleson with a 2.74 ERA. The senior worked 35.2 innings in seven starts while striking out 70 batters.

“He did an awesome job this year, just like he did in the last three years,” Bruce said. “I’m most proud of him because he grew each year that he played. He just got better and better and better. He’s still in the process of choosing a college to go to. I think in the next four years you will hear his name some more. Everytime he got on the mound it was a must win because our next guy wasn’t as sure as he was.”

Myers hit .323 in 13 district games. The sophomore scored six runs and drove in two runs.

“It took him a little bit to get going because he was in basketball and they went an extra round,” Bruce said. “Once district rolled around he was a battler at the plate. He got a lot of two strike hits. Coming in and being able to contribute as a sophomore was a plus.”

Burleson didn’t have a second team players, but junior first baseman Cody Griever earn honorable mention status.

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