Oklahoma sophomore Cade Cavalli was named a semifinalist for the 2019 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award, the College Baseball Hall of Fame announced Wednesday.
One of the top combo pitcher-position players in the nation, Cavalli has served as Oklahoma’s go-to Friday night starter for the majority of the season while having over 80 plate appearances as the designated hitter. The Bixby, Oklahoma native boasts a 5-2 record and 2.93 ERA in 11 appearances on the mound and .319 batting average, four home runs and 1.004 OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) at the plate.
Cavalli most recently tossed three scoreless innings to open Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State, his first outing since feeling pain in his throwing arm back in a start against Minnesota on April 19. He has not been in the starting lineup as the designated hitter since April 13.
The true sophomore’s production level on the mound and at the plate has taken leaps from his freshman year. In 2018, Cavalli hit just over .200 at the plate and gave up 13 earned runs in 17.1 innings on the hill.
“Last year was tough,” Cavalli said. “Obviously I struggled, everyone knows that but we were worked on my approach… I’m really excited with the results but I just have to stay in the process.”
Cavalli is the only semifinalist for the award in the Big 12.
With junior Nathan Wiles and sophomore Levi Prater expected to start the first two games against Texas, the game three starter will likely be either Cavalli or freshman Ben Abram. Game one between the Sooners and Longhorns is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16.