Stillwater News Press

Sports

June 15, 2014

Multi-tooled Teel: Stillwater ace, leadoff hitter clear winner of News Press Player of the Year

STILLWATER, Okla. — Carson Teel’s bio on Twitter may need to be changed after the senior season he had for Stillwater High.

The “short lefty on a mission” was the biggest player for the Pioneer baseball program in its push to win the school’s first state championship in 57 years. The ace of the pitching staff and the leadoff hitter in the SHS lineup, Teel is The News Press All-Area Baseball Player of the Year – and rightfully so.

“I personally think that he’s the player of the year in the entire state,” Stillwater coach Jimmy Harris said. “... If there was a category for it, he was one of our top guys in it. And the thing with Carson is he’s just a winner.”

Teel came a long way in the mind of Harris from his first impression coming off of the basketball season.

“Everyone told me what I was fixing to get out of this guy, and I watched him throw his first bullpen session and I was like ‘He’s OK. I’m sure he’ll be good,’” Harris said. “Then the very first time I saw him pitch against Broken Arrow (in the second game of the year), which was probably his worst outing of the year, he walked three and that’s not him.

“On the way back, I remember telling one of the coaches, ‘He’s good, but he’s not all that.’ Then he turned out to be all that.”

All that and a bag of chips.

On the mound, Teel had a 9-0 record with a 1.44 ERA in 12 starts, with a team-high 74 strikeouts while only issuing 11 walks. He also went toe-to-toe with Jenks ace Bryce Ward – a Kansas State signee – in the state semifinal.

“I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t want to let my teammates down,” Teel said. “I don’t like letting people down. ... So just I didn’t want to let them down.

“Every game I go out with an attitude trying to prove myself, but if we’re going up against a Jenks or Owasso or Union or Broken Arrow, that’s when you need to prove it most.”

But it wasn’t just from a pitching aspect that Teel got the better of Ward. The Stillwater leadoff hitter had three of Stillwater’s four hits off Ward and was responsible for all three runs in the victory – with two runs scored and an RBI.

“Carson has several tools,” Harris said. “... I don’t know how Jenks felt or any of those others in our district, but I bet they didn’t like pitching to him. He might not have been scary as Jon Littell, but at the end of the day, he’s what makes us go.

“You take him out of the offensive part of it, and we may not have been as successful. He made us go. And he kind of triggered the success of a lot of our other guys.”

Teel was just as effective at the plate all year as he was on the mound. He had a team-high .471 batting average (minimum 10 at-bats) as he led the offense in hits (57), doubles (12), triples (4) and stolen bases (31). He also finished in the top three of the team in runs scored – third with 39 – and RBIs – tied for third with 39.

“He is a tool guy. He is that guy that can hit a double, or hit a home run, and then lay down a base-hit bunt,” Harris said. “He’s that guy that’s going to try hard to steal a base.

“That’s the biggest thing I’m going to miss, is the tools. He didn’t just rely on anything. He truly did whatever he could do to be successful. He is constantly looking for ways to just get on base and those are things that I’ve spoke to my young guys about. We’ve got to be more like Carson in that area and have different tools.”

While Teel’s mission at the high school level is complete with a championship ring in baseball – and Oklahoma Coaches Association all-state honors in basketball – the “short lefty” will begin his next mission with the Oklahoma State baseball program. Though Teel did not receive a scholarship from the Cowboys, he signed as a preferred walk-on as a pitcher – but with all the tools he boasts, he is hoping to find a way onto the field at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium next year.

“I think I’ve accomplished it as a Pioneer, but I don’t feel that I’m done yet,” Teel said. “I’ve still got a lot of people to prove. There are a lot of doubters out there.

“I’ve got a lot of heart, and I think that drives me to use what I have inside. I’ve told my dad that I’m going to prove them wrong.”

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