The Suburbanite
  • Baseball standout Cardwell reflects back at career

  • Like most young men Steve Cardwell’s earliest baseball memory is playing catch with his dad in the backyard.

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  • Like most young men Steve Cardwell’s earliest baseball memory is playing catch with his dad in the backyard.
    “I think I was about four or five,” Cardwell remembers. “I was getting ready for my first tee- ball game and my dad was playing catch with me and giving me some coaching. My dad had been a first baseman at Perry and has been the biggest influence on my baseball career.”
    Cardwell has come a long way since those early days in the backyard. The little tee-baller grew into a 6’3” pitcher who became the number one starter on this year’s Polar Bear baseball team. But it didn’t come easy.
    “I tried pitching when I was 9 years old, but I wasn’t very good,” Cardwell said. “I started pitching again when I got to high school and I got a lot stronger. Plus my pitching coach, Nick Venuto, helped me become the best pitcher I could be.”
    Venuto helped Cardwell develop a breaking ball that became his strikeout pitch. Getting ahead in the count was also part of the development.
    “I try and get that first pitch over the plate,” Cardwell said. “That allows me to throw any pitch I want and keep the batter off balance.”
    Cardwell’s next challenge will be to keep college hitters off balance. He will attend Cedarville University in southwestern Ohio where baseball coach Mike Manes is looking forward to
    having Cardwell contribute early to his program.
    Baseball wasn’t the only reason Cardwell chose Cedarville.
    “The Christian atmosphere was very important,” said Cardwell who will major in accounting. “That was the way my parents raised me and it’s the way I live my life.”
    “Coach Manes has seen me pitch, but I told him I also want to play in the field,” Cardwell said. “I hit over .400 this season, but I’ve got to show them that part of my game. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
    Cardwell already misses the camaraderie of playing baseball at Jackson.
    “I’m going to miss high school baseball,” Cardwell said. “Playing with all the guys you grew up with is special. We all came up through travel ball and were really close.”
    Cardwell still remembers his early days as a Polar Bear.
    “My sophomore year I got the start and the win against GlenOak that gave us the Federal League championship.” he said. “They usually didn’t start a sophomore in that situation, but I pitched a pretty good game and I remember everyone going crazy after the game.”
    Cardwell has some advice for future Jackson baseball players.
    “I really regret not hitting the weight room and getting bigger and stronger,” he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - “My advice to young players is to take the game seriously. You have to get stronger and hustle every time you’re on the field.”

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