Zay's an all-star

Lincoln native Zay Caldwell pitches for the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs in the Lewis Division of the Expedition League. He also pitches for Miles College.

Former Lincoln High School standout Zay Caldwell was named to the 2019 Expedition League All-Star Game on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Corbett Field in Minot, North Dakota. 

Caldwell, a pitcher for the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs in the Lewis Division of the Expedition League, will be one of seven members from his team to participate in the contest.

Headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota, the Expedition League is an elite summer collegiate baseball league that provides player development. The league consists of a 64-game season that runs from May to August and features two divisions, the Lewis Division and Clark Division.

Caldwell has appeared in eight games, going 4-3 while working 42.2 innings, picking up 39 strikeouts and posting a 2.95 ERA. He has won three starts in a row and has not allowed more than two runs during the streak.

He said familiarity helped create a path for the opportunity with the Sabre Dogs.

“(Corey Thompson), the head coach (for the Sabre Dogs), is the pitching coach at one of the schools (Spring Hill College) in our conference in (college) ball,” Caldwell said. “He asked my coach for my number and he gave me a call.” 

Caldwell said he’s excited about making the Sabre Dogs and being an Expedition League All-Star. 

“We have a lot of talented arms in the league,” he said. “I was just blessed to be picked.” 

He added the Sabre Dogs have helped him a lot. 

“The coaching staff is amazing,” Caldwell said. “They’ve helped me grow mentally and physically. Getting to play with people from across the country has opened my eyes.”

Caldwell also plays for Miles College. He went 4-1 with 38.2 innings pitched and 38 strikeouts in his junior season with the Golden Bears. 

He said his junior year went well despite some adversity.

“I missed like a month due to a shoulder injury, but I was satisfied,” Caldwell said. “We didn’t finish how we should have. I’m looking toward to my senior year. Hopefully, I transfer what I’ve learned here in summer ball to school ball.”

Caldwell said he has a plan in place once he finishes his senior year at Miles.

“My plan is to, hopefully, get drafted,” he said. “If not, it’s time to hang my cleats up and pursue my degree in criminal justice.” 

Caldwell started his collegiate career at Lawson State Community College. At Lincoln, he excelled in football, basketball and baseball. He began playing varsity athletics while still in middle school.