No one is sweating in the Schiraldi household these days.
Nope, the aces-wild full-house in Austin is as a calm and in control as a pitcher on the mound with an 0-2 count and a 94 mph fastball in his pocket.
That’s the way it is for Navarro College ace Lukas Schiraldi, who is waiting to find out just where he will land in the Major League Draft that began Thursday and continues through the weekend. Schiraldi is projected to be chosen anywhere from the third round to the 10th round.
“I’m not too worried about it. Whatever happens, happens,’’ said Schiraldi, who has already accepted a scholarship to the University of Texas.
“It’s not bad going to Texas,’’ he said casually.
Going to UT sure didn’t hurt Schiraldi’s dad, Calvin, who along with Roger Clemens, helped lead the Longhorns to the 1983 NCAA national title. Calvin was drafted in the first round, and both father and son know that a big year or two with the Longhorns might send Lukas to first-round status.
Lukas said his father is there to help him make his decision and when he is drafted that it will be a “family decision.’’ But for now, the Schiraldi family is waiting calmly.
No need to get up in the bullpen just yet.
“He hasn’t said anything ground-breaking,’’ Lukas said. “Just stick to your guns and know that everything is going to work out and it will happen eventually. No matter what happens it will be all right.’’
It has already been a big week for Schiraldi, who was named to the first-team NJCAA Division I All-American team on Wednesday. He’s coming off an incredible season in which he helped lead Navarro to the College World Series. Schiraldi was perfect in the regular season, going 10-0 with a 1.80 ERA.
“It was a great honor,’’ Schiraldi said of becoming an All-American. “I was a little surprised. It’s a very cool honor to have.’’
Every big league scout who saw him pitch watched the power right-hander get better and better.
“There are a bunch of teams on him,’’ Navarro coach Whoa Dill said. “The Astros, the Rangers, the Brewers, the Phillies really like him, there’s a bunch.’’
There’s a lot to like.
“He’s got a strong arm and he’s 6-6 with a big body and a ceiling as high as you can go,’’ Dill said. “He didn’t pitch until he was 17 because his dad wouldn’t let him, and he has really gotten better and better. His fastball was at 87-89 when he was a freshman and this year he was throwing it at 91 to 94 and touching 95. His mechanics got better and he’s gotten stronger.’’
Schiraldi gives Dill a lot of credit for his rise.
“It was just working with Whoa, working on my mechanics and smoothing things out,’’ Schiraldi said. “Coming in I was throwing over the top like Iron Mike and Whoa moved my arm angle out to three-quarters. That’s when I got more velocity.’’
His fastball coupled with his calm demeanor on the mound, not to mention his strong pedigree, all make Schiraldi a pitcher big league clubs would love to have. But he has a pitch no one has seen — at least metaphorically. That’s Schiraldi’s best pitch — the unknown factor of just how good he might become.
“Because he didn’t pitch until he was 17, he’s got a fresh arm,’’ Dill said. “And his body is getting a lot stronger.’’
“He’s got a big league changeup,’’ Dill said. “If his breaking ball was better he would be projected to go in the first through third rounds. He’s strong and he’s smart, and his demeanor is very calm. He’s unbelievable. He’s very humble. He was raised right. His parents did a great job.’’
And he’s not in a hurry.
Schiraldi has a 3.67 GPA and he grew up a Longhorn fan. If the money isn’t right he could easily opt for Texas, where he would be paired with former Navarro coach Skip Johnson, a renowned pitching coach in his own right.
The Longhorn Nation would embrace him, and he would have a chance to improve his curveball and raise his stock with every breaking ball.
“When you’re pitching you’re not thinking about that,’’ Schiraldi said. “You’re just worried about helping the team win.’’
But as the draft unfolds, it’s obvious Schiraldi is ahead in the count in what appears to be the ultimate win-win situation.
That’s why no one is worried or fretting in the Schiraldi household.
“We’re just going to see what happens,’’ Schiraldi said.
No one is sweating in the Schiraldi household these days.
GC Softball: Playoff Time
There were some bumps on the road and slides in the standings and a few bruises along the way, but five Golden Circle teams have reached the softball playoffs that begin with first round games on Thursday.
For Corsicana it was a wakeup call during the second half of district play that gave the Tigers the push they needed, and for Mildred it was the culmination of yet another splendid season as the Lady Eagles made the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Blooming Grove is back again, a regular in post season play with a chance to make a run, and Hubbard begins its quest to get to the state tournament and Austin with a one-game playoff on Thursday against Itasca in Italy.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs split with Kilgore, win final home game
Kristen Ahearn was mad, steaming.
Even her peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she ate between the doubleheader games didn't taste good. Nothing fit. Nothing was in sync. Nothing felt right or even tasted right.
Then Ahearn found the cure.
Simple enough: Just go out and blast a three-run homer.
That's the short version of what happened Tuesday at Navarro College, where Ahearn's three-run bomb ignited the Bulldogs in the second game against Kilgore and Navarro went on to win 8-5 to close out its regular season with a bang and a smile from Ahearn.
GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981
The wait is over.
And it came just in time for Brett Anderson, who left it all on the mound Tuesday night at Kerens, where he pitched a masterpiece to lead the Bobcats over Cayuga, 5-1, and help the program win its first baseball district title since 1981.
“I've got no gas left. I'm out,'' said Anderson, a senior lefty who stopped Cayuga cold, holding the three-time defending district champs to just three singles while striking out 14.
GC Basebal Roundup: Corsicana blasts Jacksonville; BG wins huge district game
The Corsicana Tigers wrapped up district play with a dominating 9-0 win over the Jacksonville Indians behind Trevor Nolen, who shut out the Indians and allowed only one hit over 6 1/3 innings. Donovan Fields came on to retire the final two hitters. The Tiger pitchers limited the Indians to only 25 plate appearances in the game and no runner to reach third base.
Rodeo: Navarro County Derrick Days -- Burton is back
Professional rodeo entertainer Ronald Burton returns to the Navarro County Exposition Center April 25-26 to entertain the crowd at the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro Rodeo.
Huggins to call shots at Derrick Days Rodeo
West Huggins will serve as the announcer for the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro rodeo. The Gardendale native is the reigning three-time United Professional Rodeo Association Announcer of the Year.
Dill gets 300th win in Navarro baseball sweep of Bossier Parish
Navarro baseball’s weekend in Louisiana was significant on a number of fronts. On one hand, coach Whoa Dill notched his 300th win. On the other, and perhaps more importantly, the Bulldogs simply continued to play well. The Bulldogs swept Bossier Parish to move 14-11 in Region XIV East Zone play, and 27-17 overall.
Mildred sending five to regional track meet
Sasha Ballard set a school record in the 800 meters and paced a contingent of five Mildred thinclads heading to Stephenville for the regionals later this week.
Kerens boys grab four gold medals at area track meet
Tavion Hall and Jalon Moss each snared a pair of gold medals as Kerens boys finished second at their area track meet last week with 88 points.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
- More Sports Headlines
- GC Softball: Playoff Time