E.A. Sports Today

Calhoun realizes dream

Versatile Piedmont senior taking his baseball talents to Talladega College

By Shannon Fagan
Special to East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – Piedmont baseball coach Matt Deerman says Jadon Calhoun is a real quiet guy, but lets his play on the diamond speak volumes. And it was loud.

As senior this spring for the Bulldogs, Calhoun collected a .307 batting average with nine doubles, a single-season school record five triples, three home runs, 24 walks, 17 hit by pitches, 31 runs and 29 RBIs.

Then on the mound he went 8-3 with a 2.79 ERA with 76 strikeouts, helping the Bulldogs (34-7) earn a berth in the Class 3A state semifinals.

It’s that versatility that attracted Talladega College coach Marcos Dominguez’s attention. On Thursday, Calhoun signed with the Tornadoes.

“It’s definitely been one of my dreams (to play college ball) since I started playing,” Calhoun said. “Missing my junior year (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), I wasn’t 100 percent sure if I would be able to go anywhere because I missed the main year that people get recruited.

“But I knew I was in the right place with the right coaches to help get me where I wanted to be. I’m just blessed to have the kind of coaches who were willing to help me.”

Deerman called Calhoun “one of the most consistent guys” the Bulldogs had.

“He gave us an arm on the mound and we knew what we were going to get out of him. He was always real calm and very rarely got rattled. That was his personality,” Deerman said. “He was the same way at the plate. If he ever got mad, he was mad at himself, but that wasn’t very often. He’s an extreme quality kid, and he’s a good athlete.”

Dominguez knows first-hand what Calhoun can do. Calhoun played for Dominguez in travel ball a few years ago, and the Tornadoes head coach said he’s kept an eye on him during summer league ball the past couple of years.

“He’s a really good outfielder, and he can hit, but he’s a really good pitcher,” Dominguez said. “He throws about 85, 86, and that’s really good for a guy coming out of high school. He throws strikes, but I don’t want to waste all his talent just on the mound. I know he can play outfield and I know he can hit, so I want to give him the chance to be part of the
outfield. He’s really fast, too. I know he can help us out multiple ways.”

Dominguez’s plan for Calhoun is just fine by him.

“That’s been one of the things I’ve worried about, going to college and not being able to play, but he told me beforehand he wanted to use me as a two-way guy in the outfield and as a relief pitcher every once in a while,” Calhoun said. “Being able to go in and know I’ll be able to get some playing time is a really big confidence booster for me.

“I’m definitely excited. I never thought I’d be in this position, but now that it’s here, it’s time to lock in and get to work.”

Shannon Fagan is Sports Director of WEIS radio.

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