RCC’s Cleverly is selected for Gold Glove Award
WENTWORTH – Rockingham Community College freshman third baseman Blake Cleverly was one of nine elite players selected nationwide by the National Junior College Athletic Association for the Division III 2018 America Baseball Coaches Association /Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
Cleverly had a fielding percentage of .929 for the Eagles this past season, which means he cleanly fielded more than 92 percent of playable balls hit his way.
“He’s just got really good, smooth hands. He’s got a good back hand, a good forehand and moves his feet and gets himself in a good situation. He makes throws and does the things that he needs to do. A lot of it is attention to detail and he does that very well. He comes to work every day and gets things done,” Eagles head coach Reece Honeycutt said.
Cleverly, from Wake Forest, North Carolina, graduated from Heritage High School where he had a .427 batting average and was named All-Conference in both his junior and senior seasons for the Huskies.
After graduating from high school in 2015, he attended Winston-Salem State University in the fall for a semester before joining RCC for the 2017-2018 year.
The 6’2, 190 pound rising sophomore had 22 RBIs, scored 18 runs and stole five bases over the course of the 2018 season for the Eagles.
“Blake’s been awesome all year. He had a rough, rough year at the plate. I told him in the fall, as long as he didn’t make an error at third base, then he would be at third all year. He made some errors, I mean everybody does, but he did a dang good job at third base keeping us in games where guys hit some shots in places at key situations. His attitude is really good all year. He batted .195, but never let that affect him on the field,” Eagles head coach Reece Honeycutt said.
Cleverly is only the second Gold Glove winner in school history. Former Eagle Kyle Rolland, a 2013 Reidsville graduate, won it as an outfielder in 2015.
Cleverly was a key leader on an Eagles team that won the Region 10 and the District D Division III championships. RCC finished the season at 25-21-1, and courtesy of a strong end of season run and the aforementioned titles, the Eagles earned a trip to the NJCAA D III World Series where they ended up finishing fourth in the nation.
Other players selected for the 2018 Gold Glove Award included Tristan Lawrence, Matt Quade, Anthony Agne, Ryan Collins, James Mattera, Darren Prebble and Jackson Wenstrom.
Honeycutt said once Cleverly’s offensive game gets back on track, which is something the coach fully expects to improve, then he could be a very valuable player for the Eagles next season on both sides of the plate.
“He hit the ball hard on probably half of his outs, just missing the gaps. He never let his frustration on offense effect him on defense. He’s going to come back in his sophomore year, hit the ball hard and I think he will be an offensive force for us,” Honeycutt said.
July 05, 2018