Lexington senior’s perseverance pays off with commitment to Clemson baseball

Lexington’s Cal Herndon committed to Clemson baseball team on Feb. 22, 2021.

Lexington’s Cal Herndon committed to Clemson baseball team on Feb. 22, 2021.

Lexington Wildcats Photo

Cal Herndon has had his share of setbacks over the past two years.

But the Lexington High School senior’s hard work paid off Monday when he committed to play baseball for Monte Lee and the Clemson baseball program.

“I have been a Clemson fan my whole life and it has always been my dream school to play baseball at,” Herndon said. “It is very special to see how my hard work has paid off throughout all the injuries.”

Herndon has torn the ACL in his right knee twice the past two years, the first coming during football practice in the summer of 2019. He recovered from that injury and was set to play baseball last spring. But Herndon, a four-year starter at Lexington, and the rest of spring sports athletes had their seasons cut short in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the summer, Herndon played for the Canes South travel baseball team and was 3-0 with a 0.63 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 22 innings before tearing his ACL in August. He missed the Wildcats’ 2020 football season but said he is ready to go for Lexington’s baseball season, which kicks off in the coming weeks.

“I am so happy for Cal. I’ve never coached a player that has dealt with as much adversity as he has,” Lexington baseball coach Brian Hucks said. “He is everything you want in a player. He is tough, competitive, a great student, great teammate and a winner. Clemson has been his dream school and he would not allow the setbacks he has endured to derail his plans. He will be successful and Clemson and in anything else he chooses to do.”

Diamond Prospects ranks Herndon as the 10th-best pitcher in South Carolina for the Class of 2021.

Herndon is the 15th Clemson baseball commit for this class. Twelve of the 15 commitments are from the state of South Carolina.

Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The (Columbia) State and (Hilton Head) Island Packet. He previously worked at the Florence Morning News and had covered high school sports in South Carolina since 2002. Lou is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.
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