Chance Wolfe’s best baseball might lay ahead, which is saying something when you consider what he’s done in high school.
Wolfe, a two-time all-state catcher, has been devastating at the plate and on the mound this season for a Clever baseball team seeking its third straight appearance at state.
The Blue Jays are 14-4 overall, and Wolfe has led the way. He ranks first on the team in the following categories: average (.603), runs (25), total hits (41), RBIs (29), doubles (7), triples (3) and homers (4). He also led the team in most statistical hitting categories last year.
On the mound, he’s pitched a team-high 40.1 innings this spring and has a 1.74 ERA to go with three saves.
Wolfe recently signed to play collegiately at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.
“It’s a good atmosphere at the school there,” Wolfe said. “I think I fit in well, with it being a Christian school. The baseball team seems focused and has guys I wanna be around for my college years.”
Clever coach Justin Snider called SBU’s signing of Wolfe “a steal.”
“You look at his bat speed, bat control, it’s that of a D-I player,” Snider said. “Physically right now, he’s just not mature enough yet. But I think he can get there.”
Wolfe has bulked up the last couple of years. From 145 pounds as a sophomore, to 160 last season, the now 185-pound Wolfe has improved his hitting power.
Had it not been for Wolfe’s 33 ACT score, Snider said, Wolfe might’ve had the option to go the junior college route and eventually end up at Division I school.
“He got a 33 on the ACT, he didn’t want to go to a JUCO because he felt like he’d be wasting it,” Snider said. “I think he has an unlimited ceiling. He’s only going to get bigger, stronger, and presumably quicker.
“SBU is intrigued with him as a two-way player, hitting and pitching. I think they got a steal.”
At Clever, Wolfe splits his time between the mound and behind the plate. It’s an uncommon tandem, but Wolfe says it benefits him.
"Catching, you learn batter's weaknesses and you pick up on that," Wolfe said. "Then pitching, you transfer that over and know what pitches to throw in certain counts. It definitely helps."
Snider said he lets Wolfe lead the catchers’ group during practice.
"He's quiet," Snider said. "He's not our vocal leader. He goes about his business; he knows what his job is on the baseball field. He does a great job with the catchers."