GLEN ELLYN — A small change in his approach has gone a long way for Will Cornwell this spring.
Primarily a pull hitter in years past, the Glenbard South junior has worked on staying back and the results have been astonishing.
In his first season on varsity, Cornwell, a left-hander batter who throws righty, entered this week’s big series against Riverside Brookfield hitting .609 (28-for-46).
“My problem had been being out in front of everything,” Cornwell said. “I worked a lot on letting the ball get deeper and coach (Mike) Riley also helped me with waiting on the ball.”
Even with the new tweaks, the junior never could have envisioned this type of production, especially coming off a self-admittedly sub-par summer at the plate.
“It’s going great but I definitely didn’t expect this going into the year,” said Cornwell, who got called up the varsity during the playoff run last spring. “I’ve just been seeing the ball really well.
“I still do it sometimes, where I do get out in front of the ball and try to pull an outside pitch and just groundout. But my coaches can tell when I’m out in front of it. That really helps, knowing I need to stay back and go with the pitch.”
The catcher’s offensive output has proven to be a bonus considering his main responsibility is behind the plate. Having first caught at the age of 4, that became his primary position in the sixth grade as a member of the Lombard Lightning traveling team.
“I love catching and being able to be a part of every pitch,” said Cornwell, whose favorite major league catcher is Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals.
This spring, he has worked with a Raiders pitching staff that was the strength of the squad coming into the spring and has lived up to expectations.
“It’s been great,” he said. “I’m very glad to be able to catch them through the course of the year. We have a great pitching staff and it’s a really deep pitching staff.”
As a team, Glenbard South won 12 of its first 15 games. Cornwell and his teammates have high expectations for the rest of the way.
“Our teams goals at the beginning of the year, the first was to win conference,” he said, “and the next goal was to go further than any South team has ever gone before. The ultimate goal is to win state but that is every team’s ultimate goal.”