Hayden Camp has been off to such a hot start at the plate that even a 2-for-3 effort Tuesday hurt his batting average.
“It’s going to drop just a little bit,” the Clever center fielder said.
Indeed, Camp’s batting mark dipped from .700 to .692 following Clever’s 16-5 setback at the hands of Reeds Spring.
The Jays (2-3) dropped below .500, while suffering one of their most lopsided defeats in recent years.
Other than Camp continuing to hit at a torrid pace, there wasn’t much for Clever to feel good about. The Jays were guilty of seven errors, 12 walks and six passes balls.
Reeds Spring managed 16 runs on just five hits.
“They had about as many runs as we had errors and walks. That correlates for a reason,” coach Justin Snider said. “You don’t stand a chance with a game like that. I feel they were more engaged than we were and they competed harder. They cared more today and that’s not acceptable for Clever baseball. I told the kids, ‘That’s not going to cut it for what I expect.’ I don’t care to lose as long as we compete. But we did not compete today.”
Reeds Spring turned the game into a rout, after Clever was within 7-4.
“We’re young and inexperienced,” Camp said. “We’ll get over the hump, I’m confident in that.”
Camp led the Jays’ offense with a triple among his two hits. He walked once, upping his walks total on the season to three. His on-base percentage was .750 coming into Monday's game and remained at .750.
Camp had a breakthrough sophomore season a year ago and was rewarded with All-State honorable mention recognition. By going 9-for-13 games in the first five games of his junior season, he’s remained on an upswing
“I’ve got more power and I have more discipline,” Camp said. “So far I’ve done a good job of making every pitch important. I’m being consistent and disciplined. Seeing the baseball is really what it comes down to. I have a way better eye now than I ever did.”
He hit in the second hole behind lead-off man Jake Twigg in Clever’s lineup last season. With Twigg now playing judo ball at Mineral Area, Camp has replaced Twigg atop the Jays’ lineup.
“I like leadoff,” Camp said. “I’m happy about the change and so far it’s worked out. Being a leader on this team, I think it’s a good spot for me. I’ve responded well to it so far.”
“I have him hitting lead-off, but don’t really want to,” Snider said. “We don’t have a choice since we’re going through some struggles offensively. He’s the most consistent bat we’ve got. I’d like for him to be our three-hitter and I think by the end of the year he will.
“Hayden has great control of the bat and is really good at going the other way if needs to,” Snider added. “He doesn’t try to do too much and has a good eye. He hits 75 (mph) as good as he does 90, which is kind of rare.”
Camp is adding to his family’s success at Clever. His father, Adam, is a Clever grad and like Hayden, played baseball and basketball for the Jays.
“He was more of a basketball player than a baseball player,” Hayden said. “Baseball is definitely my sport. We’re opposites, that’s for sure.”
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