Georgia: Callihan, Hickey Blast Off At LaGrange Invitational


Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

LaGRANGE, GA—You have to take the good with the bad, and while SS Connor Walsh (Niceville HS, FL) had his game rained out, I got to see SS/3B Tyler Callihan (Providence School, FL) and C Nathan Hickey (Providence School, FL) launch baseballs into the parking lot and street at Granger Park in the LaGrange Invitational.

The Florida regular season started a tick later than usual and Friday was the first game for Providence. Facing Mobile Christian School, AL, Callihan and Hickey wasted little time showing off their left-handed power. Callihan, a South Carolina recruit, crushed a ball to right field on the second pitch he saw with a compact and powerful stroke. Hickey, a Florida recruit, was up next and waited one pitch longer, sending his own solo shot to right.

As Callihan pointed out at the end of the day, Hickey had one more home run than him last year. After Callihan had a soft pop out to shortstop, Hickey took the season lead with another solo shot, this one to right-center field. However, that didn’t last long as Callihan hit one near the same spot in his third at-bat. They both walked in their fourth at-bats of the first game.

The pair returned for a second second game in the evening and started off quietly. Callihan got caught out front on a breaking ball and struck out, while Hickey flew out to the track in left field. Callihan walked in his next two at-bats and Hickey singled in his second trip, before hitting a no doubt blast to deep right center in his third. He gave it a little walk and bat flip, as the ball the traveled an estimated 420 feet. Callihan finished his day with a hard single to right field and Hickey added a sacrifice fly, missing a grand slam by just a couple feet.

Our first game of the day featured Buford HS, GA, and Brookwood HS, GA. Buford sent RHP Ramsey David, an Auburn recruit, to the mound. I saw David in this tournament last year and while he showed arm strength and a sharp breaking ball, his control was suspect and he would fly open with his delivery. He walked four and hit two batters in 3.2 innings. Fast-forward to Friday and things are quite different. He was much more under control with his delivery and spotted his fastball well on the corners. His slider wasn’t as sharp, showing short, lateral break, but he showed feel for a changeup with some arm-side run and dominated opposing hitters, striking out 15 in six innings while allowing just one hit and walking none.

Seeing Buford also afforded me a sneak peek of freshman RHP Dylan Lesko, currently the No. 6 prospect in the 2022 Overall Rankings. He checks a lot of boxes with his athletic, projectable frame at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, relatively easy delivery and pure stuff. He closed out Buford’s first game, sitting 89-90 with a strikeout in one inning. He has excellent feel for a changeup at 77-79 and flashed a sharp slider in the mid 70s. He was brought back for a more extended appearance in Buford’s second game and pitched more in the 86-88 range, but got touched up by the Providence hitters for four runs on five hits, including Hickey’s third home run, and a walk. He struck out five in 2.1 innings.

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