FARMINGTON — Nothing could slow down Jacy Cave during his four-year baseball career at Piedra Vista High School.
Cave, who graduated from Piedra Vista in May, was named to the Louisville Slugger High School All-American first team as a multi-position player on Monday. The announcement was made in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
"The paper said I was a preseason All-American, and I thought, 'Man it would be pretty cool to carry it through the season and be an All-American,' but I wasn't expecting it at all," Cave said.
Cave was the only New Mexico player selected to either the first or second team. Volcano Vista's Andre Vigil, who was named the NMPreps.com Mr. Baseball award winner, was left out.
"I wouldn't have been surprised if Vigil had been in that multi-capacity spot for an athlete from New Mexico, but I think it says a lot about Jacy," said PV head coach Mike McGaha. "During his four years, you have seen him play left field, he was a first-team all-state second baseman, he played 13 games at shortstop his sophomore year when Cody Scaggari got hurt. As a junior, he hit well into the .600s for average when he couldn't throw the ball. He possessed all the tools."
McGaha said Cave's offensive numbers over the past three seasons was comparable to those of Shilo McCall's. McCall graduated from PV in 2012 and was a ninth-round pick by the San Francisco Giants the same year.
Cave was unable to throw a baseball his junior season after undergoing Tommy John surgery to repair a ligament in his throwing elbow. That made being named an All-American as a pitcher and first baseman all the more valuable to the 6-foot-2 right-handed pitcher.
"I feel accomplished. Knowing I can come back from an injury like that and being able to play well, it felt great," Cave said. "Being able to still swing a bat that year helped me a ton. After the surgery, even holding a bat felt really weird, but the extra time I got in the cages paid off."
During his senior season, Cave hit .359 with an on-base percentage of .461. His slugging percentage was .739 with 33 hits in 31 games, 20 of which went for extra bases. He had 10 doubles, five triples and five home runs. He led the team with 40 RBIs.
"Kids always ask me what makes a power-hitter in high school baseball. If you make it relative to how many games they play versus how many the pros play, it is five times the number of games. If you multiply Cave's numbers by that, he would have put up 25 home runs and 200 RBIs over the course of a major league season," McGaha said.
On the mound, Cave boasted a 1.83 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 46 innings pitched. In 13 appearances, Cave finished with a record of 9-2.
Earning the recognition by Louisville Slugger gives Cave a ton of confidence before heading to New Mexico Junior College this fall, he said.
"I am about to go to college after the Connie Mack World Series. Winning something like that doesn't put pressure on me, but it elevates my level of play," he said. "I am pretty excited to get down to college."
Cave hopes to earn a spot on the pitching staff while still playing first base to keep his bat in the lineup every day.
He said all of his success in high school, which includes three 4A state championship wins, hasn't quite sunk in yet, but he expects it soon will.
"I am sure after the Connie Mack World Series I will feel like my high school career is really over," he said. "It has been a great time, and I accomplished a lot because of a lot of great people."John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.