Gaither leads Cowboys to 2-0 win with magical performance
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As senior pitcher Ray Gaither took the signs from senior catcher Cole Solomon, he knew what he had to do. With his team holding a 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning and up 0-2 on the batter, Gathier did what he did best.
He blew past the Colleyville Heritage hitter with a fastball, striking out his 11th hitter in a complete game shutout, giving the Cowboys (24-1 overall, 9-1 District 7-6A) the narrow 2-0 win over Heritage (18-11, 6-4) at the Coppell ISD Baseball/Softball Complex.
“I felt like I had my stuff and I was just hitting my spots,” Gaither said. “I was trying to attack the hitters early and get them to have to work around my pitches and it ended up going pretty well.”
Coppell baseball coach Kendall Clark also thought Gaither had his stuff in his outing last night.
“[Gaither] was excellent in his control, he hit his spots all night,” Coppell baseball coach Kendall Clark said. “He had his dirty slider with him tonight. It breaks, it bites and it’s got a good speed on it too. He also was on point on his slider, which in turn made his fastball look better.”
Yet it wasn’t just the pitching that propelled the Cowboys to their win. His sixth inning triple with a man on first led to the first score of the game, giving the Cowboys the lead that they wouldn’t surrender.
Gaither also scored the second run of the sixth inning off of junior shortstop Austin Gross’s triple, putting Coppell up 2-0, a score that would stand until the end.
“I knew once I got to a 3-0 [count] that he would try and throw something in the strike zone,” Gaither said. “He missed his spot and I just got the barrel on it and smacked the ball hard.”
In this game however, the Cowboys struggled to get much offense going at all before their big sixth inning. A team who has averaged 4.9 runs per game in its last 10 games. Before the two-run sixth inning, the Cowboys only had two hits.
Even though the lack of offense was unprecedented for the Cowboys, Gaither kept them in the game.
“We can just know that even though the hitting may not be on point on one certain night, the pitching can keep us in the game,” Clark said. “Our pitching has improved and it can help us win some big games.”
The pitching has only given up 1.5 runs per game in the last 10 games, and Clark has liked what he has seen.
“Our pitching has been really good this season,” Clark said. “It wasn’t even bad when we lost [4-2 to Trinity], it was just average. When you can pitch well that really helps you in any game. And also, even though opponents may see a loss, we still hardly give up any runs so that’s good.”