Sdao helping write history for Lake Creek baseball
No matter how or when this dream season ends for Lake Creek’s baseball team, history will be made. The Lions are in the regional final for the first time, impressively and quickly establishing a winning program at a school that is almost four years old.
A considerable boon to the Lions’ rapid rise is senior Shane Sdao.
The 6-foot-3, 155-pound left-hander will go down as one of the first marquee talents in Lions baseball history. A Texas A&M signee, Sdao is well aware he is helping author his and his team’s legacies going into Game 2 of their Class 5A Region III final tonight against Friendswood at Reckling Park at Rice University.
“I want to be remembered as a team player,” Sdao said. “As a leader. Building trust and connections within the team has been important. We rely on each other, and hopefully that mentality continues in the years to come at Lake Creek.”
Sdao has helped formulate a culture of success at Lake Creek.
The Lions went 25-13-1 as regional semifinalists last year. This year, they are 28-5 and two wins away from a state tournament appearance.
In five playoff starts, Sdao is 3-2 with a 1.94 ERA, 31 strikeouts to 16 walks, and seven earned runs allowed in 25 2/3 innings.
“This season has been great,” Sdao said. “Not only because we have made program history and we are so close to reaching our final goal this year, which is the state title, but also that this team makes each and every game fun and entertaining to watch and to play in. (It’s) Staying focused on what’s in front of you and not letting the past affect your future.”
Sdao said what he and the team took away from last season was how different the competition is in the playoffs compared to the district season. Yes, winning a district championship, like the Lions accomplished this year, is tough. But the playoffs are tougher.
So Sdao worked himself into a more effective pitcher this season, mechanically and physically. Over the offseason, he trained with a pitching coach to fine-tune ways to help him stay consistent when going down the mound.
He spent time working on conditioning and in the weight room to get his arm healthier and stronger, enabling him to make more starts and pitch deeper into games.
“I’ve grown mentally a ton,” Sdao said. “Last year, I would let things get to me easily, but I’ve learned over the past year to just let things go and move on to the next pitch. I feel that I have more confidence in all of my pitches compared to last year.”
Sdao determined at a young age that baseball was his destiny. Since he was 12 years old, he committed to the sport, “taking ownership” of his passion every step of the way.
He has played baseball since he was six years old, falling in love with how competitive the game is and the work required in succeeding.
“I enjoy the competitiveness and pressure that it takes to be a pitcher and having the power of pacing the game my way, the ball in my hands for me to control what happens next,” Sdao said. “I like to win, and the hitting side of the game does not have a lot of winning involved. Pitching is more my playing style, and I hate losing more than I like winning.”
He hasn’t had to do a lot of hating lately. Sdao has not only set the course for his own future through his remarkable talent and dedication, but the Lake Creek program’s as well.
“It’s been great being a part of the building of this program,” he said. “We are the first to do everything there. No one is in front of us to set any records. We set the standards, and I would say that we set them pretty high.”