It’s not very often that something special comes along like what we’re seeing in Coppell. They have the number one ranked high school baseball team in the nation; a team with numerous players who will soon take their talents to the college level. This time around, we will focus on one of the big reasons the Cowboys are the top team in the country and still undefeated; they have possibly the best pitching staff seen at this level in a long time.
Five pitchers that can take the mound on any given night and just bring it, 90-plus coming at you in the box. Charles King (committed to TCU), Ray Gaither (committed to Dallas Baptist), Chris Burdine (committed to Oklahoma State), John Kodros (committed to LSU) and Austin Sanford (undecided).
“It’s a good experience because you’re around the best pitchers in the nation,” said King. “It really is a good learning experience. We have 5 to 6 guys that can go and get outs and win games, so that will really be nice going into playoffs when we have to go into 3-game series.”
“It’s pretty awesome,” adds Burdine. “Every one of us is good at different things, some of us have a little more velocity than others and some have better command. When you bring it all together, it’s just something special.”
Let’s take a look at the stats. King, Kordos and Sanford are a combined 10-0 with 59 strikeouts so far this season. Burdine and Gaither have a total of nine saves between them. All five have ERA’s under two.
“It’s cool watching these guys throw and so much fun knowing you have a chance to go out there and win every single time,” said Sanford. “It’s always encouragement, all fun, no negativity around this staff.”
As far as the future is concerned, both King and Gaither are staying in the metroplex to play college ball. “I took my time and visited all the schools I wanted to go visit and TCU just had the best fit for me,” said King. “The coaching staff is incredible.”
“I always wanted to go to a small private school close to home because that’s what I felt would be the best fit for me,” adds Gaither, who’s also hitting .404 as the Cowboys third baseman. “I fell in love with the coaches and the campus when I went to Dallas Baptist and I just felt I would grow as a person and a baseball player there.”
Kodros, a junior, will be heading to what he said was the school he’s always dreamed of playing for, LSU. So being a part of this talented staff only helps him when he moves on to the next level. “I like it a lot because there are a lot of guys competing for certain jobs and it always keeps you better,” said Kodros. “It keeps you at your best game and you know it’s going to make you better when competing with the best.”
Burdine had his own reason for choosing Oklahoma State. “It pretty much was a perfect choice for me,” said Burdine. “I know people up there and heard good things about the coaches.”
Sanford is still in the process of deciding where he would like to go, saying he hopes to make his decision by the end of the school year. Sanford, along with the other four, will also be on the MLB scouts’ radar come draft time.
Head coach Kendall Clark’s squad currently sit at 18–0 with district play under way. With these five guys taking the mound when call upon, it will be tough for any opposing team to stop the streak Coppell is on.
Written by C. James