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Sarasota Athlete of the Week: Sam Klanot

Riverview High's junior baseball pitcher has a 1.91 season ERA.

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Sam Klanot is a junior pitcher on the Riverview High baseball team. Klanot threw a complete game shutout, allowing two hits and one walk with six strikeouts, April 18 in the Rams' 6-0 road win over Palmetto High. Klanot holds a 1.91 ERA on the season. 

When did you start playing baseball?

I started playing baseball when I was 6. My family wanted me to try a bunch of different sports, and baseball was one of them. I liked it the most. I wasn't a pitcher at first. I was a catcher. One game when I was 10, my team didn't have an available pitcher, so I tried it and I actually did well. I continued to pitch after that and eventually it became my entire focus. 

What is the appeal to you?

I like getting loud (in the dugout). I like being involved in the game and supporting the offense when I'm not pitching. It's a great environment and it brings the team closer together. 

Which pitches do you throw?

I throw a fastball and a curveball and a slider. Those are my main pitches but I am working on my change-up as well. My fastball velocity is somewhere around 80 mph. 

What is your best skill?

I think my best skill is my composure. I try to stand confident out there and not just wildly throw my body in motion. No matter what happens I am just trying to get the next ground ball. 

What have you been working to improve?

I have been working on my change-up. I want to get that down so it can become one of my consistent pitches. I'm going to keep working on it through the summer. 

What is your favorite memory?

When I was 12, I played a tournament in Cooperstown, New York, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I was on the Sarasota Vipers. There were two people on our team who had not hit a home run that tournament and I was one of them. I was doing pretty bad and we were on our elimination games. I had my coaches give me some advice and that calmed me down. I ended up hitting a home run in the elimination game and we won the game. That was a great moment. 

What is your favorite food?

I probably have to go with steak. I like a filet cooked medium rare. 

What is your favorite movie?

I don't know. I like the "Jump Street" movies a lot. I like "Step Brothers" a lot. Anything like those types of movies is good. 

What is your favorite school subject?

I like biology. I like learning how our bodies work and about the evolution of life, stuff like that. 

What is the best advice you have received?

Just keep working. Talent is not anything without work. There will always be someone better than you at some stage. You have to work to be better than that person. 

Finish this sentence: "Sam Klanot is …"

A little shy until you get to know me. Then, laid back and friendly. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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