Senior Sam Shively gets the opportunity to follow his brother Luke (’17) to play baseball at Taylor University. Luke and Sam got to play together on the varsity for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Starting in 2019-2020, both Shively’s will be part of the pitching rotation for Taylor. Last year as a freshman, Luke was impressive with a 6-2 record with one save and a 2.28 earned run average. Even though Sam and Luke will play for Head Coach Kyle Gould, the connection with Coach Gould goes further back than most people know. That is because Coach Gould was a former player of Luke and Sam’s father Jim Shively at Triton High School. Coach Shively is currently the assistant varsity coach for the Cavemen.
When Sam was asked about why he committed to Taylor, he said, “The deciding factor to me was one of my buddies committed to Taylor that day and it came to mind that I want that to be my home for the next 4 years.” To be able to get to this point in his life, he credits his success to having great parents, especially his dad for always paying for travel teams and coaching him all the way up to now. He also credits the Indiana Chargers organization being a big part of it, especially Coach Justin Barber and Coach Joel Mischler.
Last season, Sam was stellar on the mound after having a slow start at the beginning of the season. In 59 2/3 innings, Sam was 8-1 with 80 strikeouts and a 0.81 ERA while opponents had a batting average of .191. At the plate, Sam batted .289 with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, and 10 runs batted in. Sam’s conference success on the mound earned him N.I.C. 2nd Team All-Conference as a pitcher. During the team’s successful run in the state tournament, Sam got wins over Plymouth (2-0) and SB Adams (6-4) in sectionals, and Penn (2-1) in the first game of regionals.
After reflecting on last year’s team success, he said, “I would describe last year’s season as a major statement to teams in Indiana that we are a good baseball program and that we will compete until the last out, win or lose. My outlook for senior season is to get to that 20 win mark, and to also live up to every kid’s dream, a state championship. I think if we all buy in on day one and let the coaches teach us to play to our potential we will be very hard to beat.”
With Sam and Derrick Dawson committing to play college baseball, the Cavemen Baseball Program looks forward to hear who the next Caveman player will get the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. Also, the Cavemen look to carry their success into next season with Sam being one of the leaders of the team.