Amando Cardenas earned Little East Conference Rookie of the Week honors following a stand-out performance during an April 4 doubleheader at Keene State. The Spartans won both games, balancing their record at 3-3 at that time.
The Mesa, Arizona native was a .500 hitter on the day in the designated hitter spot in the lineup. Once on base, Cardenas continued to give the Owls headaches with three stolen bases in the second game.
“I try sticking to my strengths and what I’m good at doing,” Cardenas said. “Getting on base and using my speed to advance to each base is something that I have always done.”
Prior to the Keene contests, Cardenas recorded two stolen bases in early losses to Skidmore College, and has racked up four since, giving him nine for the season.
“It’s staying compelled and focused that allows me to set myself apart and showcase my speed,” he said.
The team is currently 6-6, but they are 4-1 in conference play, putting them in second place in the LEC.
“We’re a young team trying to build off what we have and what we’ve started. We are always looking to improve our relationships with one another and strengthen our connection,” Cardenas said.
Head coach Ted Shipley agreed and said that COVID-19 robbed them of valuable experience last spring.
“The biggest thing we lack is higher level college baseball game experience. The quality of LEC baseball is at a national level, as we have two teams from our conference that are currently in the top 20 in the country and could end up with as many as four,” he said. “Last season, we were hoping to get most of that higher level baseball game experience … COVID has affected us by taking that season away from us.”
Time will tell if the Spartans are made of the right stuff to go deep into the conference tournament currently scheduled for May 19-23. Cardenas and crew will be ready to battle as a team when that time comes.
“We’ve become a selfless team and family … It has truly been an amazing adventure here at Castleton,” Cardenas said.