Mike Callagee sensed his senior season would be different the first time he took the mound in mid-March to pitch against Hasbrouck Heights in a scrimmage.
The Emerson right-hander already was bigger and stronger than he was as a junior, which increased the velocity on his fastball by about 5 mph, into the mid-80s on a regular basis. His confidence increased even more because he learned to throw a slider, which developed into an out pitch.
His improvements notwithstanding, even Callagee couldn’t have predicted what occurred over the next three months.
Callagee went 11-0, posted a 1.72 ERA and struck out 57 batters in 69 1/3 innings to help Emerson win a state Group 1 title, the Bergen County school’s first since 2001. The Record Pitcher of the Year earned wins in nine of his 11 starts and pitched seven complete games for the Cavos (26-5).
“This season was just outstanding,” Callagee said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better season. We accomplished everything we set out to do and more. We exceeded our expectations for the year.