Sherman leading the wayPublished 8:39pm Thursday, April 4, 2013
PINETOWN — If there ever comes a point in time where Caleb Sherman decides he does not want to play baseball, there’s no doubt he would flourish in the restaurant business.
So far the Northside leadoff man has been the ultimate table setter for the Panthers as he heads into the midway point of the season with a .455 batting average and an on base percentage that hovers near .800.
“He’s a guy that we depend on to get on base and he’s been doing a phenomenal job at that,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “In 13 games he’s drawn 21 walks and he’s only struck out seven times. His on base percentage is through the roof.
“You just tip your hat to him. He’s relaxed at the plate and most of the time when he gets on base he makes things happen for us.”
The key for Sherman, who has played baseball since he was five-years old and has been a member of the Northside varsity team for four years, is that he understands his responsibilities as hitter.
“My role is to just get on base,” Sherman said. “I’m not really an RBI hitter. I just have to get on base and move ahead. Being patient at the plate is something I kind of find natural. As a leadoff hitter you have to take the first pitch and really just try to get on base.”
With a lineup that at times lacks punch, playing small ball is a requisite for Northside and having a leadoff hitter like Sherman is critical.
“It means a lot,” Boyd said. “When he comes to the plate early in a game we feel like we can get him on, and depending on how the catcher is, we might try to steal him over or bunt him over. We’re trying to scratch out runs and he sets the stage for us.”
Sherman, who plays second, short and pitcher for the Panthers, has grown a lot since his junior year and the key to his success this season is his patient approach at the plate.
“I’m more relaxed,” Sherman said. “I’m not thinking about trying to hit bombs, just doubles and singles.”
“He was good last year but so far this year he’s much better,” Boyd said. “He’s much more relaxed and more confident in himself. He’s not pressing and his stats show it.”