“Everyone on this pitching staff is a stud,” Moore said. “We have seven or eight guys who can all really throw the ball and every single one of them can be trusted with it. It doesn’t matter what situation we’re put in we have the pitching to win it."
Katy’s pitching staff has embraced any role they have been put in this season.
From staying in the moment to taking on different roles and allowing others to step up, every pitcher on the Katy staff has stepped up in these playoffs and it’s a huge reason why the Tigers are still alive heading into this weeks regional final.
“This staff is special in that they are extremely unselfish and they play for each other,” said Katy head coach Wes Hearne. “They want to win and so they’re doing whatever it takes. Lucas (Moore) has found his stuff and he’s been great the past two weeks, Caleb (Koger) has been a rock for us all season, Cole (Kaase) has embraced being our closer or coming in wherever we need him and he’s done a fantastic job. And the young arms we have, every single one of them has been huge for us.”
Over the course of Katy’s eight playoff games, the Tigers have given up just 18 runs, giving up barely over two runs per game while holding teams to three runs or less in all but one game over the course of its run, including three shutouts.
And the success has come from everyone on the pitching staff. The Tigers senior trio have shut down every team they have faced. In Koger’s four starts these playoffs he has only given up two runs, Moore bounced back from a tough outing in the bi-district round and has been very solid over his last three appearances while Kaase has made an impact both as a starter and a reliever over the course of the playoffs.
“We’ve got a lot of arms with a lot of talent,” Hearne said. “The great thing is that we aren’t limited in any way, I can lead on any of those guys in any situation. I am confident in their ability to do their job and get us out of tough spots.”
It hasn’t been limited to Katy’s seniors though, as the Katy underclassman have also made their mark. Cade Nelson, Aaron Brashear, Aiden Barrientes and Connor Udland, all sophomores, have made winning impacts out of the bullpen during the playoffs.
Nelson has bene the breakout star for Katy these playoffs, the sophomore has excelled in a number of tough situations he has bene put in. Over Nelson’s four relief appearances these playoffs he has allowed no runs and just one hit over 7.2 innings while striking out 13 batters, becoming a weapon for the Tigers any time they need to go to the bullpen.
“He’s been phenomenal for us,” Koger said. “Every time he comes in he steps up. He has such good stuff and he throws heat. None of us can say enough about Cade.”
Katy will need every bit of that pitching prowess this week against Pearland, as the Tigers look to advance to their first state tournament since 2006. Katy will take on a Pearland team that is 35-6-1 and comes off a sweep of Cinco Ranch in the regional semifinals. But that doesn’t make the Tigers any less confident.
“Everyone on this pitching staff is a stud,” Moore said. “We have seven or eight guys who can all really throw the ball and every single one of them can be trusted with it. It doesn’t matter what situation we’re put in we have the pitching to win it. If someone steals a game off of us we know that our pitching is going to step up and take the next one and we’ll take any game three that comes around. Any one of us can play any role, we have seven dudes and we just know whoever is up there is going to make it happen.”