Stoney Creek’s Cavanaugh lands All-State spot

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published July 24, 2019

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ROCHESTER HILLS — During this past high school baseball season, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek coach Clint Rodger and assistant coach Paul Diegel went to check on the diamond to make sure it was in good condition. It was Easter Sunday, and the team was set to play a game the next day.

As the coaches were leaving, then-junior Drew Cavanaugh and his younger brother were on their way to the field to hit and throw the ball around.

It’s those kinds of moments that give an inside look into what Cavanaugh is like off the field. On the field, his performance was just as strong as it was off it.

As a hitter, Cavanaugh had three home runs, a .484 batting average and a .550 on-base percentage. As a pitcher, he was undefeated during the regular season, with an earned run average just over 1 and a .847 WHIP.

All these different aspects of his game helped earn him a spot on the Division 1 All-State team.

“It was one of the most exciting moments of my life,” Cavanaugh said. “I was sitting down with a couple of friends, and all I see is a text from Coach Rodger in all caps saying you made All-State. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my life.”

Cavanaugh’s main position is catcher, but he’s also dabbled in pitching, at shortstop and in the outfield. Depending on the day, he has the ability to play at any position the team needs him in.

That type of talent makes Rodger’s job easier.

“It’s a nice feeling knowing that no matter how his arm is feeling, he can play anywhere on the field,” the coach said.

Rodger said that in all the close games the Cougars played that they went on to win, Cavanaugh was the driving force behind those victories.

Cavanaugh started out at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep as a freshman, then transferred to Stoney for his sophomore and junior seasons. For his senior year, he is transferring to IMG Academy — a preparatory boarding school and sports training destination in Bradenton, Florida, known for having one of the best baseball programs in the country.

When asked to give a self-assessment of his junior season, the first thing that came to mind was his improved hitting. Cavanaugh said he only hit .250 or .260 as a sophomore. The improvement came from spending more time in the weight room.

Cavanaugh has fond memories of Stoney Creek that will be with him for a long time.

“One thing I’ll really miss with coach is the energy we had,” he said. “At every single game, he would always get us pumped up and ready to go. My teammates did that as well.”

Cavanaugh also said playing at Stoney Creek got him ready for the mental aspect of the game that he expects at his next destination.

For Rodger, Cavanaugh has been a standout in just two years with the team.

“This was my 18th year as a varsity head coach, and he’s the best player I’ve ever coached,” he said.

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