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Colten Cloud to Pasco-Hernando State College

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BROOKSVILLE — For the second straight year, the ace of the Hernando High baseball team’s pitching staff is headed for the mound at Pasco-Hernando State College.

Just like Michael Savarese before him, recent Hernando grad Colten Cloud will be playing for the Bobcats in New Port Richey next spring.

“I had some other options,” said Cloud, who pitched for Hernando’s varsity team the last three seasons. “But this was the best option for me. It worked out well financially and it’s close to home. I talked to (PHSC coach Lyndon Coleman) during the season and I really like him and I talked to Michael and he said he was really happy there and that helped me feel comfortable about it.”

Hernando coach Tim Sims has a strong relationship with Coleman and several other Hernando players have moved on to PHSC in recent years. Savarese made two All-American teams as a freshman this year.

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“It’s the perfect fit for Colten as a baseball player and as a student,” Sims said. “He’s a very coachable kid with tons of upside potential. He’s ready to take the next step and he’s going to get some excellent coaching from Lyndon and (PHSC pitching coach) Brady Bogart (a former standout pitcher at Citrus High in Inverness and at Saint Leo University).”

Cloud, who finished high school with a 4.3 grade-point average was the winner of several academic scholarships that went to Hernando’s senior class. He also was the winner of the boys Tom Fisher Award, given annually to a student that participated in at least two sports and exceled academically. Cloud, who also was a member of Hernando’s swimming team, said he plans to study sports nutrition.

“We’re very happy that Colten is coming here,” Coleman said. “He’s coming from a great high school program and he’s a great student.”

Both Sims and Coleman said the best is yet to come for Cloud, 18. “Colten is a little bit of a late bloomer,” Coleman said. “He has the physical attributes, but he’s really just starting to grow into his body and realize his potential. That’s what we’re here for. Junior college baseball in Florida is a place to go and grow for two years and, then, move onto another level.”

Just like Savarese, who gained 15 pounds between his senior year of high school and his freshman baseball season, Cloud, who currently is 6-foot-2 and 193 pounds, will be placed on an intense weight-training and nutrition program. As a senior, Cloud’s fastball was clocked as high as 88 miles per hour, but the majority of his pitches were in the mid-80s.

As a senior, Cloud went 4-3 and posted a 2.35 earned-run average while helping the Leopards reach the Regional Final Championship Game. Despite missing nearly a month with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, Cloud struck out 59 batters in 50 innings.

“The best thing I can tell you about Colten is that he can play tic-tac-toe in the strike zone and he can spin the ball,” Sims said. “As he continues to get bigger and stronger, his velocity is going to catch up and, when it does, he can be as good as anyone. He’s another in a long line of guys we’ve had here that are competitors on and off the field. Colten has the desire and the work ethic to become great and working with Lyndon and Brady puts him in the best possible situation.”

Patrick Yasinskas
Patrick Yasinskas
Pat Yasinskas is an award winning writer now in the fifth decade of a career writing about sports on all levels. He previously covered the National Football League for The Tampa Tribune, The Charlotte Observer and ESPN.com and has written numerous freelance stories on all sports for multiple national and regional magazines and newspapers. He's covered 23 Super Bowls, been a member of the Selection Committee for The Pro Football Hall of Fame and co-authored a book on the NFL's Carolina Panthers in 2007. He began his career covering sports in Hernando, Pasco and Citrus counties for The Tampa Tribune while a student at Saint Leo University in the late 1980s. His first full-time job was covering Hernando County sports for The Tampa Tribune from 1990-92. He's thrilled to be back writing about sports in Hernando County, where it all began.
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