VANCLEAVE, Miss. (WLOX) -“It definitely sounds different. Not a typical high school kid, coming off his bat at all.”
That’s how Vancleave head baseball coach Justin Edwards describes the priceless weapon that is Kade Carpenter. The senior slugger is second in the entire country in home runs, with 12, has a near .500 batting average, and half a dozen triples.
“Last year I was batting .320 with a good bit of strikeouts but I really worked this year to make that better,” said Carpenter.
On April 20 against Bay High, Carpenter earned seven total bases - by way of a home run and a triple - in just the first inning. And that wasn’t even his best outing of 2021.
“That’s probably the second-best game I had this year,” said Carpenter. “Against St. Patrick I had three bombs, a double, and a single.”
With an extended offseason after the 2020 campaign was cut short, Kade spent a lot of time working on hitting offspeed pitches - something that’s helped him see the ball better, in general, this season. He started the year hitting .500 through his first five games - a rate he’s maintained in the two months since.
“I kept the same approach all year,” said Carpenter. “I struggled in the middle of the season, got in a slump, but I got out of that this past week.”
After this season ends for him as a Vancleave Bulldog, he’ll head to Perkinston where he’ll be a Gulf Coast Bulldog. Just the next step for a young star.
“I’m excited to advance to the next level, see better competition, and keep going to see how far I can go,” he said.