By Trey Williams
At 10 years of age you could say Cole is green energy that’s producing heat.
Cole ReSue turned 10 on August 18, two weeks after he was clocked throwing a baseball 64 miles per hour in Orlando. ReSue was at a USSSA showcase at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, where he was chosen for the national Select 30 team from a pool of 120 invitees from across the nation.
ReSue’s stepdad, Jay Hensley, was an all-state baseball player at University High and pitched two years apiece at Radford and East Tennessee State. He might’ve been as excited as Cole was when they learned they were in select company, and grandfather Dan Stott radiated pure joy.
“His grandfather’s been a huge part of Cole’s life and he was down there with us,” Hensley said. “He shed a couple of tears, let’s put it that way. Cole’s mom (Anna) is a big fan, but his grandfather’s probably his biggest fan.”
The elite distinction wasn’t the highlight of the year for ReSue, whose favorite memory was made in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
“We won the Global World Series in Gulf Shores,” ReSue said.
And he was dominant on the mound.
“He pitched in the championship game,” Hensley said. “It was a four-inning game and he struck out 10. I think only two kids put the ball in play against him in the World Championship game.”
Another milestone came Sunday when ReSue helped the Crusaders 10-U win a Cal Ripken tournament in Pigeon Forge. It was the first such title for the 11-year-old program. Teammate Andrew Reilly was MVP.
The Crusaders 10-U coaching staff includes head coach David Lambert, Scott Allen, Brian Turman and Hensley. Crusaders teams have access to Tim Copenhaver’s indoor facility at Champion Chevrolet, where Hensley said four mounds, four hitting cages and an outdoor turf for taking infield have been invaluable.
Hensley, who gives pitching lessons, is ReSue’s pitching coach. Former ETSU slugger Dylan Pratt, the hitting coach at RBI Tri-Cities, has been ReSue’s hitting instructor the past two winters.
“Cole has been an absolute pleasure to help teach and mentor,” Pratt said. “He’s a talented, good-natured kid who’s incredibly receptive to coaching. His best attribute, however, is his love for baseball. It comes off him in waves, and that in itself can take you a long way in this game. He’s got a chance to be pretty darn good at this.”
Pratt, who participated in the NCAA’s Home Run Derby in 2011, has helped ReSue add pop. He hit three home runs this year on 200-foot fences.
“Dylan is a huge asset,” Hensley said. “He’s great with the kids Cole’s age. He gets those kids motivated to hit the baseball, but he also does it the right way and they have fun.”
RBI Tri-Cities owner Paul Hoilman, another ex-ETSU slugger, won the inaugural Home Run Derby in Omaha in 2010. ReSue has attended Hoilman’s week-long camp for five years and won the Flamethrower Award (highest velocity) each year. He won the 7-U division, Hensley says, when he was five and six years old.
ReSue’s a capable catcher, too. He threw out three would-be base stealers during the Ripken tournament this past weekend.
Hensley is mindful of resting ReSue’s arm. He probably caught 65 percent of the innings in five games in Pigeon Forge.
And Crusaders pitchers are limited to fastballs, change-ups and cut fastballs – pitches requiring less torque from the elbow – until they are at least 11, which is when Hensley began throwing curveballs. He said ReSue won’t throw off a mound for some two months through the end of December, but that’s about all the rest ReSue will tolerate.
“I’ve tried to shut him down a little bit this last month just to give him a little bit of a rest,” Hensley said. “But you can’t keep him out of the batting cage. He wants to go every day.”
Added ReSue: “I like playing baseball and I just want to get better.”
ReSue’s favorite team is the New York Mets. He hopes to someday throw as hard as his favorite player, Noah Syndergaard.
“Cole is definitely blessed,” Hensley said. “He has long arms and a strong core. I have to be careful, because I know how good he is and sometimes I forget, you know, he’s 10.”
Ten going on 65 (mph).