All Star Showcase

By Robert Proctor

The Cuero Record

Cole Payne made the most of his final outing in a high school game. The Cuero graduate, who helped lead the Gobblers to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2008 this season, was selected as a pitcher in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association 2A-4A All Star Game at Dell Diamond in Round Rock June 16.

For probably the first time in his baseball career, Payne came off the bench and pitched two innings of shutout relief for the South team in the win, 15-1.

“It was just a lot of fun to get out here with these guys, a bunch of really talented dudes and compete and have a really good weekend,” Payne said.

Payne struck out six batters, only allowing three hits, as he consistently hit the corners of the strike zone.

“I felt really good,” he said after the game. “I was just trying to throw a lot of strikes and get hitters out anyway I can. It just turned out that I was getting balls by guys. All my pitches felt really good, and I was comfortable.”

At the plate, Payne didn’t deliver in big hits like Gobbler fans are accustomed to, but he walked in both plate appearances and scored two runs.

“I was going up there to battle,” he said. “If I got my pitch good; if not, then I was going to take my walks and do whatever I could to help the team score some runs.”

Payne plans to make one more visit but already has a good idea of where he’ll be signing to play collegiate baseball his freshman season.

Before that decisions comes, though, being a part of this game meant a lot to him.

“I felt honored just to be selected to play with this group of guys,” he said. “It was really fun to be out here with them and see what kind of talent is in Texas.”

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