The Triple Crown 16u/17u baseball squad had a successful run this past summer and has begun to assemble impressive talent at numerous positions.
One indicator of that became apparent this fall, when outfielder/pitcher Calvin Marley made his verbal commitment to attend Wichita State University. Marley, a 6-foot-3 righthander, is currently a junior at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, CO.
Former MLB scout and current TC baseball college/scouting coordinator Chris Knabenshue helped Marley attend a high-profile June workout in Arizona through Area Code Baseball. Going into that workout, Marley said nothing was on his radar in terms of college programs, but he had 20-plus contacts by the time he got home.
At the five-hour workout, Marley had to choose either to pitch or show his stuff as an outfielder; he decided to pitch, and the Shockers are expecting him to contribute at both positions. A coach in Colorado Springs who also had contacts at Fossil Ridge became the initial bridge to Wichita State; after hearing about the school’s interest, Marley did some research and began to warm up to the idea.
The next step was conversation with pitcher Codi Heuer, a 2015 graduate of Fossil Ridge who plays for the Shockers.
“That’s one way I got to know about the school real well, through one of players who was from Fort Collins, which was really cool,” Marley said. “I asked about the daily routines, how he likes it, all the basics you would want to know, and that was one thing that really hooked me. Then I went on my visit and loved it there.”
This past summer for the TC squad, Marley was 5-0 with a 1.20 ERA, ringing up 31 strikeouts in 29 innings. At the plate, he had 87 at-bats, hitting .414 and chipping in with 25 runs and 30 RBI.
As a sophomore at Fossil Ridge, he struck out 22 batters in 13.2 innings and hit .457 in his 54 plate appearances.
“Calvin attracted college scouts all summer, at every event we played in,” said Marley’s TC club coach, Drew Reiners. “He’s a great kid, a natural leader, and our team responded to his quiet confidence. Wichita State is getting an incredible athlete who excels in three sports. For our team, he always performed at his finest in the biggest moments of the biggest games.”
Wichita State, which is in the Missouri Valley Conference, was 21-37 in 2016, five fewer victories than in 2015, but the Shockers were a solid 17-17 at home.
With more than a year and a half left at Fossil Ridge, Marley said he’s well aware that the work is just beginning when it comes to preparing for college. Wichita State doesn’t have a lot of specific items Marley needs to tackle, other than to continue raising his ceiling as an athlete.
“Their goal is to make good professional baseball players through their program; that’s something I see myself doing. And at Wichita State, baseball is a primary sport because they don’t have football, which is a whole different atmosphere,” said Marley, who also plays basketball and football at Fossil Ridge. “The pitching coach told me he didn’t want me to seek out a private pitching coach and change a lot of mechanics. He wants me as raw and as athletic as possible. So I’m good to play the other sports, and that means I focus on getting stronger in the weight room, and faster.”