Carroll and Mitchell of the Calallen baseball team provide the state spotlight in Austin


AUSTIN – Calallen baseball didn’t win a state championship last week at Disch-Falk Field.

But what happened on the mound was what South Texas baseball fans saw last season, and the rest of the state took notice on the biggest stage.

Sophomore left-handed pitchers Drayton Mitchell and Coll Carroll were Calallen’s dual aces this past season, and in the two state tournament games in Austin, the tandem showed the future is bright for the Wildcats.

“That says a lot, two sophomore pitchers in a state championship game, they’ve got some dogs and they’re going to compete,” said senior catcher Justen Calederon, who caught both games in Austin last week. “They’re going to do what they do best and they’ll come back and fight back. They handled the pressure really well, they hit their mark, they’re doing what they need to do and couldn’t ask for a better pitching staff.” than those two.”

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Carroll didn’t get a decision in Wednesday’s semifinal win against Longview Spring Hill as the Wildcats pulled off some late-inning heroics to win. But the left-handed sophomore was solid all game, working his way out of multiple snags to allow two runs on six hits, with three strikeouts and four walks.

He held on until the seventh before Cody Andrade came in to keep the game scoreless and give the Wildcats the win in the eighth.

Mitchell took the loss Thursday in the championship game against Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, where a three-run third inning provided all the runs the Leopards needed for a 3-1 victory. Other than that inning, Liberty-Eylau struggled to figure out Mitchell, who lasted two outs in the seventh before reaching his pitch limit.

The two, who were once teammates on the Oil Belt Junior League team that played in a World Series in 2022, won a total of 21 games for the Wildcats this season and suffered three losses. The best part for Calallen, and the worst part for opponents, is that the pair will return for two more seasons.

“I would say they did a great job,” Calallen coach Steve Chapman said. “Actually, those two balls in the infield cost us three runs (Thursday), they weren’t hard-hit balls. But that’s baseball sometimes.”