CHEYENNE – Most players would be over the moon about posting the offensive statistics Colter McAnelly has during his first season with Cheyenne American Legion Post 6.
His .358 (43 for 120) batting average is second-best among Post 6 players with at least 40 at-bats. His 38 RBIs also rank second on the roster. His 10 doubles are tied for first.
However, McAnelly isn’t satisfied.
“This hasn’t been my best year, but it hasn’t really been that bad, either,” he said. “It’s been pretty average, I guess. I just haven’t been hitting to the best of my ability.”
That McAnelly expects more from himself should surprise no one. The freshman has been Cheyenne’s starting shortstop and batted third in the order since this season started. He also has verbally committed to the University of Missouri after catching the coaches’ attention at an individual camp.
McAnelly may be somewhat disappointed with his offensive efforts, but Sixers manager Ty Lain isn’t.
“He has been fantastic pitching, defensively and at the plate,” he said. “He has been great in all three spots.”
Lain is particularly happy with McAnelly’s efforts on the pitcher’s mound.
The 15-year-old right-hander has a team-best 1.69 earned-run average. His 37-1/3 innings pitched are second-most on the team. His 42 strikeouts are third-best. McAnelly has a 4-1 record.
Included in those wins is a complete game effort during an 8-2 win at reigning American Legion national champion Idaho Falls, Idaho.
“It’s not often you have a freshman who puts himself in position that whenever he takes the mound your team feels like it is winning that game,” Lain said. “He has been that kind of presence for us.
“(McAnelly) is going to pitch in many big, important games during his career with us, and we have a lot of confidence in him.”
McAnelly has been pleased with how he has pitched, especially since getting his fastball locked in.
“Earlier in the year, I didn’t have as much command with my fastball,” said McAnelly, who also throws a curveball and changeup. “I was having trouble throwing it where I wanted to throw it. Coach (Josiah) Ward helped me change my arm slot, which helped me start putting it where I needed to put it.
“Doing that has opened up so many more things with my other pitches and made them more effective.”
McAnelly is confident he can start hitting the way he wants once he is able to simplify his approach at the plate.
“I am just thinking too much,” he said. “I’m hitting it right at people, or I’m making weak contact. I just need to hit the ball back up the middle, and focus on getting base hits.
“I need to stop thinking about what I need to do, and just go out there and do it.”
Any player who commits to an NCAA Division I school is a frequent target for scrutiny from outsiders. It can be a burden for them to prove to doubters that they are worthy of that opportunity. If McAnelly feels that pressure, he hasn’t shown it, Lain said.
“Our coaching staff and team has a lot of confidence in him, and he has proven every single day that he is worthy of that confidence,” Lain said. “We don’t care what anyone else thinks because we know what he is capable of.
“He has come through for us all year, and we’re counting on him to continue to do that.”
USA Prime-Munro 6, Cheyenne 5
A pair of three-run innings helped USA Prime-Munro hold off Cheyenne for a 6-5 victory at the Continental Amateur Baseball Association’s wood bat tournament Wednesday night at Powers Field.
Prime pushed three runs across in the third and fourth innings. They took a 3-0 lead in the third on and error, following by a two-run double off the bat of Cam Sisneros.
Prime extended that lead to 6-1 in the fourth. That inning included a two-run single by Blake Beauchene.
Cheyenne (30-14) fought back with a four-run fifth. Kaden Anderson and Nico Vite both drew one-out walks, and were moved over a base on Andrew Johnson’s single to left.
McAnelly was hit by a pitch to score Anderson and cut Prime’s lead to 6-2. Bradley Feezer hit a two-out, three-run double to right field to close the gap to 6-5.
Post 6 got just one more hit over the final two innings. Sisneros pitched the final inning of relief, striking out two to pick up the save.
Johnson was 2 for 4 for Cheyenne. Vite’s lone hit was a double.
The Sixers struck out 13 times. Cheyenne pitchers combined to strike out 10.
USA PRIME 6, CHEYENNE 5
USA Prime-Munro…… 003 300 0 – 6 3 2
Cheyenne…… 001 040 0 – 5 7 2
USA Prime-Munro pitching: Chronowski, Waltz (5), Sisneros (7) and Beauchene. Cheyenne pitching: Onisto, Applegarth (4), Lobmeyer (7) and Anderson.
W: Chronowski. L: Onisto (2-2). S: Sisneros.
2B: USA Prime 1 (Sisneros); Cheyenne 2 (Feezer, Vite).