Written by Michael Florek
Baseball player of the week (5/20): Melissa's Cade Cruce
What he did: In Game 2 of Melissa’s series with Argyle, the No. 4-ranked 3A team in the state, Cruce helped save Melissa from elimination with a bases-loaded double with two outs to break a tie. In the deciding Game 3, he pitched a complete game, hit his second home run of the series, and drove in three runs to give Melissa a 13-4 win.
Who is he? A 5-11 junior pitcher, shortstop and center fielder.
The stats: Cruce is hitting .400 with three home runs and 31 RBIs. On the mound, he is 2-1 with 11 strikeouts and a 4.58 ERA in 181/3 innings.
He said it: “For me, going into Game 3, knowing that I was on the mound and that the fate of the team pretty much rested on my hands, yeah, I was nervous. I wanted to make sure that I threw strikes.”
Coach said it: “Clutch hits for him everywhere. He went from shortstop to center field to pitching Game 3 on the mound after all that. … He just went after them, worked both sides of the plate, did a good job throwing off-speed pitches in fastball counts. I think that was the big thing.” — Joe Williams
Did you know? Cruce is in his first semester at Melissa, moving from Gunter after Christmas break. He was a running back for the Gunter football team. … He recently returned to pitching after sustaining a shoulder injury in the fall. … Cruce is getting interest from a number of colleges, including Georgia and Arkansas. … Melissa plays Spring Hill in the 3A regional semifinals.
GW RBI, 4-for-4, HR, 5 RBIs in Game 2 win over Midland
RBI single in bottom of 7th to win series
7 IP, 3 H, 7 K’s in Game 2 of sweep of Grapevine
Walk-off single in bottom of 8th inning of Game 3 to win series
7-for-10, 4 RBIs, 1 HR, 5 SB in series win