Creekview senior pitcher Heath Clevenger committed to Samford University on July 16, bringing his 6-foot-6, 210-pound frame to a Bulldogs team that has seen great success over the past three seasons.
“I think Samford is a really great fit for me,” Clevenger said. “They’ve had a really good baseball team the last few years and I am eager to be a part of that winning tradition. Overall I think it is a great school and environment.”
Clevenger became a starter in the rotation for Creekview this past spring and has spent three years in the system. Even though the season was cut drastically short due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, Creekview baseball coach Michael Nayman said that Clevenger showed a lot of potential during his first season as a starting pitcher in the rotation.
“Heath has made some amazing strides over the last year, but you could see this coming when he joined the team as a freshman, Nayman said. “He passes the eyeball test due to his size and he has the arm.”
Clevenger said that even though the season was cut short, there were still some memorable moments from his first season as a starting pitcher.
“It was unfortunate that our baseball season got cut short,” Clevenger said. “We only played in about eight games, but we did beat Allatoona 10-6, which is a game I started. That was our first win over them in around four years. Our hitters came in clutch at the end and it was an overall great game.”
Along with pitching for the Grizzlies, Clevenger is also a member of the Georgia Jackets 17U summer travel baseball team. The team is currently participating in the 17U National Championship. Clevenger said that pitching at Creekview and with the Georgia Jackets has prepared him to play at the collegiate level, citing his coaches as big reasons why he feels confident going into his senior season and his eventual transition to the collegiate level.
Nayman also has high hopes for Clevenger for the spring 2021 baseball season and beyond, pointing to both Clevenger’s physical growth, as well as his growth as a pitcher.
“I saw during last season and the pre-season practices that his pitching mechanics were better and that he was becoming more comfortable with evening out his pitching with his 6-foot-6 frame,” Nayman said. “As a result of all of this, it translated into what he was able to successfully do on the mound in the couple of times we saw him. If the season had played out and he started at least 10 to 12 times, I think we would’ve seen massive jumps in his mechanics, velocity, control and command of his pitches. He has turned into a solid three-pitch pitcher and because of this, I think he is on an upward trajectory where he becomes something special next season.”
Nayman added that he believes Clevenger is a great fit for Samford and that he can be a top pitcher on the Bulldogs pitching staff.