Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Most of the recognition that Cam Miller garners on the football field or the baseball diamond is a direct result of his right arm.
After an 1,800-yard passing season as a quarterback and back-to-back strong seasons as the ace of the Solon pitching staff any passing or pitching recognition that rolls is for the Solon sophomore is certainly justified.
Lately it is what Miller has been doing at the plate that has people taking notice.
Miller is hitting .470 over the last 12 games helping Class 3A fifth-ranked Solon (31-10) return to the substate final where it will face Fairfield (30-8) on Wednesday in Solon.
“Right now, he is hitting it as well as anybody on our team the last two and half or three weeks,” Solon coach Keith McSweeney said. “That’s an added bonus from your number one pitcher.”
Miller has continued his dominance on the mound this season, following up an 8-0 freshman campaign in which he posted a .67 ERA by going 8-3 with a 1.20 ERA in 52 1/3 innings as a sophomore.
He allowed one hit and struck out seven in four innings in a district semifinal win over Keokuk last week.
This season he has found a way to be a big-time contributor even when he’s not on the mound.
After hitting .297 with 12 RBI as a part-time starter last season Miller enters the substate final hitting .322 with seven extra-base hits and 25 RBI.
“Last year I played half the games maybe and I didn’t really hit the way I thought I could,” Miller said. “Now when I am in the lineup and know where I am going to hit at it in the six or seven spot it feels good and I’ve been able to get in a groove.”
Mired in a 0-for-8 slump last month Miller decided to work his way into that groove.
His batting average dropped below .260 with a 0-for-3 showing at Benton Community on June 27.
Miller came to the field early the next day with a new plan and new attitude about hitting.
“About three weeks ago I started hitting more off the tee, I just kind of got sick and tired of where I was at as a hitter,” Miller said. “I was hitting about .250 and I just told myself that I was done hitting like that. I just took more cuts off the tee and I think it’s paying off.”
Since the adjustment Miller has been on fire.
He has hits in 10 of his last 12 games and has gone 16-of-34 during that stretch while raising his average more than 60 points.
“He was hitting it really hard in the preseason and then he kind of lost something,” McSweeney said. “About three weeks ago he made another adjustment and was able to stay back and drive the baseball.”
Two doubles were the extend of the power numbers for Miller last season.
In 10 at bats in the last week Miller has a double and a homer among his six hits and has driven in eight runs in that span.
“This is the best I’ve hit it at any time, especially at this level,” Miller said. “I just have to keep climbing and seeing Luke Ira and the other guys we have hit the way they do it just makes me feel better when I go up to hit.”