There were high expectations for Southlake Carroll going into the 2016 baseball season. After reaching the regional semifinals last year, Collegiate Baseball ranked them 26th in their preseason poll.
Another reason for those high expectations: the talent on the field. The Dragons have players already ticketed to Division 1 schools.
Right-handed pitcher Matthew Canterino will be heading to Rice next season to play for the Owls. Canterino is 3-1 with an 0.91 ERA along with 24 strikeouts in 23 innings this season. His lone loss: 1-0 to top-ranked and District 7-6A rival Coppell on Tuesday, which saw Canterino throw a two-hitter while striking out 10. As a junior, he was 11-1 with a 1.79 ERA and 132 strikeouts. Stats good enough to earn First Team All-District.
“I had three set schools I was really looking at,” said Canterino. “The quality of the baseball programs at the schools were all pretty equal but the ultimate choosing factor for me was academics and the Rice engineering program, which led me to choose them over everyone else.”
Another name high on many baseball insider’s lists is shortstop Hudson Sanchez, who will be taking his talents to College Station to play for Texas A&M. Sanchez is ranked 23rd in Baseball America’s top 100 high school players and was named to the Dallas Morning News Preseason All-Area team. Sanchez is hitting .370 with three home runs and 19 RBI’s this season.
“Once I visited Texas A&M, I knew that was the place for me,” said Sanchez. “I knew the SEC is one of the best baseball conferences.”
Sitting at 9-5 as district play heat up, it will be a challenge for Southlake Carroll, especially with the number one team in the state (Coppell) in your district. But with the talent I saw on the field earlier this week and the senior leadership and experience that both Canterino and Sanchez bring to the table, the Dragons are more than capable of making another memorable state tournament run.
By C. James