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Cameron Sullivan sharpened his skills as a member of the Guilford AAU baseball team this summer. Next spring, Cameron will be vying for a spot on the varsity roster with the high school squad. (Photo courtesy of Cameron Sullivan )
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The best athletes on the baseball field are often referred to as “five-tool players.” Guilford’s Cameron Sullivan has added a sixth skill to the list: confidence.
Cameron, a rising junior at Guilford High School, hit his stride on the diamond this summer. As a member of the Guilford 19-U AAU team, Cameron, 15, uncovered a newfound confidence while competing against older players. Cameron carved out a nice role for himself and showed everyone that he belongs.
“Obviously, he is much younger than a lot of the kids he is going against, but he has gotten better every game and more confident over the course of the season,” Braves’ Head Coach Ryan Brockett says. “He is putting together some really good at-bats. He is a glue guy—a real unsung hero.”
Cameron developed into a key cog for Guilford on its run to the East Shore Travel League Playoffs. Guilford earned a win versus the Stratford Spartans in the opening round of the tournament and then took a loss against the eventual champion, Connecticut Hank’s Yanks, in a semifinal matchup. Cameron believes that gaining experience against high-caliber competition will pay dividends as he progresses further into his baseball career.
“I would see people who were much bigger than me, much older. I’d see people who were playing in college, and I’m going to be a junior in high school,” says Cameron. “That was definitely a shock at first, but I feel like physically, I can play with them just like anybody else.”
Originally a shortstop, Cameron transitioned to second base while moving up in the batting order this summer. Cameron started off the season hitting in the lower third of Guilford's lineup. As he grew more comfortable having a wood bat in his hands, Cameron got bumped up and wound up batting both fourth and fifth for Guilford.
“I had two big hits and drove in two runs on each hit and I really felt like, ‘Wow, I can really play at this level successfully.’” Cameron says. “That just boosted my confidence more.”
Cameron focused on his approach at the plate throughout the summer season. Cameron was primarily a JV player for the high school team this spring, but is looking to earn a varsity job in his junior campaign.
“I feel like I’ve always been good enough at fielding,” Cameron says. “But I needed to work on hitting, and I feel like I have gotten better at that.”
Cameron feels that using a wood bat for the past three summers will prove beneficial when he returns to the metal bats of the high school game.
“[Wood bat] is a lot different. Metal bat, if you make good contact, the ball is going to go a lot farther,” says Cameron. “When I first started wood bat, I wasn’t used to it because it is heavier, harder to swing.”
However, Cameron isn’t solely focused on the physical side of hitting. He knows that it’s just as important to win the mental chess match whenever he steps into the batter’s box.
“You have to be able to think about what pitch is coming to you, what [the pitcher] is going to throw you next, so you can make good solid contact,” he says.
Coach Brockett says that Cameron has lot of potential. Brockett likes how Cameron is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team succeed.
“Cameron is very coachable. He takes coaching very well,” says Brockett. “He does all the little things.”
Cameron was part of a championship team when he played Little League in Guilford. Now, Cameron wants to duplicate that feeling of the ultimate success—whether it’s with his AAU club or the high school squad.
“That would mean a lot, because I’m wearing Guilford across my chest. I’m representing this town,” Cameron says. “So, if we get far and win a summer championship that’s going to mean a lot to me and this town, too.”
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