Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – The future for Liam McComas is on the football field.
After months of plotting which sport to play at the next level the two-sport City High standout ultimately made the decision to pursue football, signing with Northern Iowa.
Shortly after he chose football over baseball as his sport of choice in February McComas made another decision – to make his final baseball season one to remember.
McComas is making good on the decision this summer playing the best baseball of his career on his final season on the diamond.
“Baseball has been with me for 14 years now so I love it equally so I just have to make the most out of this knowing that I am going to college for football,” McComas said. “I knew right away I just have to make the most out of my senior season.”
McComas leads City High in seven offensive categories including career-high marks in on-base (.545) and slugging percentage (.671) as well as batting average (.412) while helping the Little Hawks to a 21-10 record.
Those offensive numbers have all come while catching 29 or 31 games.
“He catches a lot but Liam has been a kid that from day one when he was younger he’s been really bought in to what we are doing,” City High coach Brian Mitchell said. “He was solid last year, he probably got a little fatigued and I think he’s done the same thing this year but maintained his performance.”
Putting up career numbers in his final season was no easy task for McComas who hit .344 a year ago while leading City High with five home runs and 24 RBI in his first full-time varsity season.
Those numbers, though solid, were drug down by a midseason slump in which McComas hit .197 over a span of 18 games.
McComas spent last summer in the midst of a physical overhaul that saw him lose nearly 40 pounds before his senior year began.
The weight loss and body transformation along with the physical demands of catching nearly 40 games piled up on McComas as last season went on.
“Last year in addition to all the games he caught he really focused on getting his body more lean so he lost a lot of weight in addition to everything he was doing with catching and I’m sure by the end of the summer that wore on him a little bit,” Mitchell said. “This year he came in more physical to begin with. He knew what he had to do to be ready this year.”
The new-look McComas spent the offseason work on his arm strength and defense.
That work has paid off as he has thrown out 12 potential base stealers.
“I really focused on my arm during the offseason and just getting it stronger,” McComas said. “I knew last season my arm was not where it needed to be accuracy and velocity wise. This year I am happy with where I am at with my arm.”
The biggest jumps for McComas has come on offense where he ranks among the most dangerous hitters in the Mississippi Valley Conference.
McComas has a team-high 35 hits, 14 of which have gone for extra-bases and has drawn 21 walks while striking out just eight times.
“Losing all the weight and putting on some muscle has helped immensely,” McComas said. “It’s crazy to see what has happened with putting on some muscle and then putting the ball in play and watching it fly.”
After another strong start to the season there has been no slump for McComas as a senior.
He brings a six-game hitting streak into Monday’s doubleheader with Dubuque Hempstead and has a hit in 11 of the last 12 games.
McComas has reached safely in 12 straight games dating back to June 17.
“I know it’s going to be hot out and I know I have to be out there (catching) all the time because we need to get wins,” McComas said. “After seeing what happened last year, at this time I was in a slump, at the beginning of this year I knew I was going to need to train more and not let myself get down at the end of the season especially before the playoffs."
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