Caleb Lindaberry will play a key role on the mound and at the plate as the Horry American Legion Post 111 baseball team battles for the state playoffs in 2017.
A 2016 Carolina Forest High School graduate and rising sophomore at Southern Wesleyan University, Lindaberry is one of several key returnees from this past season when P-111 came within one win of advancing to the American Legion State Tournament.
“Caleb is a college pitcher and he’s very experienced,” Horry Coach Tim Whittaker said. “He’s very poised on the mound. He has command of all his pitches.”
The 19-year-old can man either first or third base when he’s not on the mound. He prefers playing American Legion Baseball to hitting the road for travel ball.
“I’m in college and they allow you to play Legion ball if you’re young enough,” he said. “Coach Whittaker is a really good coach. I like him a lot.”
Lindaberry has lofty goals for himself and his teammates this summer.
“My goal is to try and make it to the playoffs,” he said. “I want to try and beat Florence. They’re a very good team. We have to play together. We’re figuring that out now.”
Post 111 competes in a four-team league that includes two-time defending state champion Florence as well as Murrells Inlet and Georgetown.
Horry is currently 2-2 in League II action following a doubleheader sweep at Murrells Inlet Friday night. Lindaberry had three hits including two homeruns and a double, scored three times and drove in six runs in the 16-5 victory in the first game of the doubleheader.
A 6-foot, 4-inch, 180-pound right-hander, Lindaberry was a valuable member of Coach Jack Jolly’s final team at Carolina Forest in 2016. One of the most important things he learned from Jolly is the importance of being mentally tough.
“It’s all about mental toughness,” he said.
As a senior, Lindaberry led the Panthers with a .421 batting average, and served as the team’s designated hitter when he was not on the mound or on the field.
“I’m a good pitcher, but I’m known more for my batting,” he said.
The key to being a good hitter, according to Lindaberry, is patience and good decision-making skills.
“A lot of people swing at bad pitches and strike out,” he said. “You have to be patient and wait for a pitch that you can hit.”
Lindaberry didn’t see a lot of action for Southern Wesleyan as a freshman, but expects to play a more prominent role for Coach Mike Gillespie’s Warriors in 2018. Located in Central near Clemson, SWU recently moved up to Division II, and is a Conference Carolinas member of the National Christian College Athletic Association.
“I only pitched a couple of innings because I was a freshman and learning the ropes and finding out what my role would be,” he said. “It should increase now that I have some experience. We just got into Division II, so we’re kinda building up our competition level in order to be able to compete.”
Lindaberry describes himself as a disciplined and hardworking person who is willing to put in the work necessary to reach his goals.
“It is not only discipline and hard work and reaching constantly for higher goals…but also my faith in God that keeps me going,” he added.
The teen is majoring in accounting with hopes of becoming a certified public accountant.
“I love numbers,” he said.
“When he’s not on the baseball field, Lindaberry enjoys playing video baseball games and spending time with his friends. He has a younger sister, Rachel, who is a rising junior and a softball player at Carolina Forest High.
Lindaberry was born in Iowa. He lived in Ohio and New York before moving to South Carolina when he was 3-years-old.
He used to fall asleep with his grandfather watching New York Yankee games on television.
“I’ve always been a Yankee fan and a Derek Jeter fan,” he said. “My whole room is Jeter stuff and Yankee stuff.”