Player of the Week: Kole Thrasher
Published 10:20 pm Monday, July 28, 2008
Jacob Dunn had the game-winning RBIs to knock off vaunted Satsuma. Louis Stuedeman made the rally-stopping catch in left field. William Stewart pitched the final two innings to pick up the win. So, the West Alabama 14U Babe Ruth team offered no shortage of candidates for this round of Player of the Week honors following its most complete performance of the state tournament.
But the player most indicative of the squad’s gutsy effort is pitcher and shortstop Kole Thrasher. Widely regarded as the emotional leader of the team, Thrasher took that role most seriously during the closing rounds of the state tourney.
Most often brought in to close out games, Thrasher toed the rubber from the outset of the Satsuma contest. Armed with the knowledge that a victory over the 2007 13U state champions would clinch a regional tournament berth for his team, Thrasher battled, scraped and clawed for seven innings. He left the mound after using 107 pitches to reach his maximum inning amount.
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The most remarkable aspect of Thrasher’s performance was his ability and willingness to do what so few pitchers his age can. He trusted his defense. Thrasher rarely tried to blow anything by opposing hitters, instead opting to make his pitches, hit his spots and rely on his teammates to get out of the inning.
As remarkable as the occurrence was to witness, it was in no way shocking as Thrasher routinely conducts himself on the field and in the dugout with an air of confidence and maturity scarcely found in such young players.
The faith he displayed in his cohorts was rewarded accordingly on multiple occasions as the West Alabama team continually stepped up in clutch situations to keep the game close and validate its hurler’s performance.