Cagle takes shape as ace
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
March 30, 2013 12:38 AM | 1385 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the Reinhardt baseball team’s 
hovered around the .500 mark for much of the season, former Sequoyah standout Zach Cagle has been key on the mound.
<Br>Reinhardt University / Tom Baylark
As the Reinhardt baseball team’s hovered around the .500 mark for much of the season, former Sequoyah standout Zach Cagle has been key on the mound.
Reinhardt University / Tom Baylark
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The Reinhardt baseball team is hovering around .500, and Zach Cagle’s performance on the mound is a big reason why.

The Sequoyah High School product in his second season with the Eagles, leads Reinhardt with six wins — three times more than anyone else on the staff — and 52 2/3 innings pitched — more than double any other pitcher’s total. His 2.56 ERA is also among the best on the team.

Cagle said he is simply reaping the reward from all the hard work he has put in during his career.

“I came in and got playing time right away,” he said. “That was definitely what I wanted. It’s been fun.”

Cagle attributes much of his success this season to a change to the Reinhardt coaching staff.

Brandon Hennessey stepped in this season as the Eagles’ pitching coach. Cagle said that working with a coach who has helped nine pitchers get selected in the last three Major League Baseball drafts has been good.

“He has really helped me along the way,” Cagle said. “He’s helped me get a little more on my velocity.”

Cagle said he isn’t disappointed with Reinhardt’s 17-17 record, or its 6-5 mark in the Appalachian Athletic Conference. He is just trying to do as much as he can to put the Eagles in position to win.

“We are doing well,” he said. “We are at .500. I’ve got a good team playing behind me, and that helps out.”

Much of the right-hander’s success can be attributed to his ability to hit his spots. He says he tries to keep the ball low and in the zone.

Cagle doesn’t just have goals for the season — he has goals for each game. On the mound, he focuses on keeping the bases clear to give his teammates a chance to score some runs and get ahead early in the game.

“I try not to give up any runs in the first and second innings and get my team in a groove offensively,” Cagle said. “I like to work at a quick pace.”

Cagle also said it’s exciting to be part of the changes that are going on at Reinhardt. He said the new athletic facilities on campus, which include a weight-training room and locker rooms, have been great, and he’s enjoyed playing under coach John Ihlenburg, who is in his second season at the Eagles’ helm.

“The atmosphere on campus has gotten more lively,” Cagle said. “There are a lot more activities going on around campus, so it’s been fun.”

The Eagles, who split a doubleheader Friday at St. Andrews in North Carolina, will be back in Waleska on Tuesday to host a doubleheader against Martin Methodist.
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