This week, one of the greatest players to ever take the mound for Calallen High will don a cap and gown and bid the Corpus Christi school adieu.
Senior pitcher Hambleton Oliver was a very important cog in the Wildcats’ 27-6-1 season. The four-year letterman’s arm powered Calallen to a dominant district showing and a playoff berth, culminating with him being named District 29-5A.
Head coach Steve Chapman touted Oliver as “a very intelligent young man (who) has a deep commitment to the game of baseball.”
“Hambleton has been a tremendous kid for our program,” Chapman told Texas Scorecard.
According to the coach, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Oliver collected an average of 10 wins over each of the last two years.
“He has control of three pitches,” said Chapman. “He throws in the high 80s, low 90s. He has a good slider and a good changeup. It makes him very effective. He doesn’t walk a whole lot of people.”
In addition to making life miserable for opposing batters, Oliver himself is a solid hitter.
“He’s one of our top hitters last year and this year,” said Chapman. “He hit .423 this year.”
Oliver’s 41 hits in his senior season was good enough for second in most hits on the team.
Chapman said that Oliver — who also played first base and third base — is highly respected among his teammates, describing him as a great leader on the field and a great kid off.
“He’s something that coaches dream about having as a player,” the coach said. “Never in trouble … he always puts other people before himself.”
Chapman added that Oliver was “one of the finest kids I ever had a privilege of coaching.”
“His work ethic is what sets him apart from everybody else,” the coach said.
Oliver will attend Baylor University in the fall.