We featured his story on DiscoverMooseJaw.com last April when Sowden-Flanagan Baseball Training announced Cam O'Reilly had signed a scholarship offer from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ont. Seven short months later, O'Reilly is attending classes, enjoying the college life and reflecting on a most remarkable freshman season with his team, the Saints.
O'Reilly was named Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year, made the all-star team and helped the Saints to a league championship.
"It was a super fun time and I enjoyed every minute of it," O'Reilly said when we talked to him via telephone from Windsor. "It felt like it all just happened so fast...our baseball season is only two months because it just gets too cold."
"I couldn't have done it without my teammates and my pitching coach, Kareem (Kobrosli). They helped me play defence and, yeah, it was a pretty good season...He (Kobrosli) helped me with my mechanics every day. He's just a really good coach," O'Reilly said.
The Saints went 15 and 2 during their championship season and O'Reilly, a left-handed pitcher, was the winning pitcher in four of those games. He pitched 16 innings giving up just 8 hits and 2 earned runs. He struck out 21 batters, walked 8 and recorded an ERA of 0.88.
And while O'Reilly credits his pitching coach for his recent success and Sowden-Flanagan Baseball Training for helping him get to the next level, he started pitching when he was a little boy, growing up in Moose Jaw.
"I think I've been playing ball since I was 6 or 7 so I've been playing a long time, yeah."
There's no spring season in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association but O'Reilly plans to focus on his studies and, certainly, return for his sophomore year. And he's hoping to face some quality competition back home next spring and summer, hopefully with the Moose Jaw Miller Express, if the Western Canadian Baseball League can get the go-ahead for a 2022 season.
"That's the goal, hopefully, yes...it's looking like there will be a season next year so I'm hoping there is."
So, right now, the focus for O'Reilly and his teammates is on school (O'Reilly's taking Business Finance) and upcoming off-season training.
"We get a break for our arms after the season for about a month and then we'll start back up (training) in December."
And while he's only been away from home (for the first time) since August, O'Reilly says he's settling into his new lifestyle.
"It was hard at first for about a month or so but after I found some friends it got easier. The college life is different than being in high school but, it's good," O'Reilly said. "It was a great season and I'm happy to be down here. It was a good time."