By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
A large group of friends, teammates, school administrators and coaches gathered at Westbrook Christian School on June 21 as Warrior senior pitcher/outfielder Mikhail Cazenave signed a baseball scholarship with Georgia Highlands Community College located in Rome, Ga.
Cazenave attended a baseball camp at the school’s Cartersville campus in June.
“I loved the atmosphere there and I felt at home the first time I stepped foot on the campus,” he said. “I visited Chattanooga State, West Alabama and Snead State, but the coaches at Georgia Highland made me feel like I belonged there. I’ll do whatever to contribute, whether I’m in the game or sitting on the bench.”
As the ace of the Westbrook pitching staff this past season, Cazenave went 10-3 with 108 strikeouts in 81 innings. He finished with a 1.08 earned run average as Westbrook went 25-15 overall and 8-3 in the postseason.
With Cazenave in the starting lineup as either pitcher or outfielder since his freshmen year, Westbrook made the state semifinals in 2011 and the quarterfinal round in 2012 and 2010.
As a member of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Junior College Athletic Association, the Chargers will field its inaugural baseball team next spring.
“We were surprised that Mikhail was still available,” said GHC head baseball coach Mike Marra. “Mikhail has a great arm throwing 82 miles per hour on the mound and 89 miles per hour from the outfield. He has the ability to come in and contribute immediately.”
Westbrook head baseball coach Matt Kennedy pointed to Cazenave’s competitiveness and work ethic as the key to his success on the diamond.
“I told Coach Marra that he’s getting a player who’ll work hard and prepare himself every day, and he’ll compete when you put him on the mound. I always called Mikhail ‘Bulldog,’ because he’s always had that mentality of doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Every time Mikhail was out there, we had a chance to win the ballgame. Once he gets into s weight program and gets a little stronger, there’s no telling what that kid might do at the next level.”