The annual North Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game took place last week at Horner Ballpark on the campus of Dallas Baptist University, and a trio of recent Mansfield graduates represented their respective schools.
Playing for the West squad were Kade Strowd of Legacy, Alex Palmer from Summit and Peyton Burnett representing Timberview. All three just concluded their senior years.
Strowd, who will play baseball in the Big 12 at West Virginia next year, wasn’t expecting an invitation to the game.
“I was extremely surprised,” he said. “You know how much talent there is in North Texas.”
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Strowd took note when he saw others invited to the game last year and thought it would be a cool way to end his high school career.
“For that to come true was really satisfying,” he noted. “It definitely felt good considering I’m going so far away next year to wear [his Legacy jersey] one more time and get to play with a bunch of good players from around Texas.”
Strowd is a pitcher by trade but played outfield in the all-star game. He went 0-3 at the plate. Despite going hitless, he enjoyed himself around the other players.
“I felt really comfortable around them,” he said. “They’re all basically the same as me pretty much. We all just love the game. It was fun.”
Burnett was also eager for the opportunity to play in the event.
“I was excited. I knew it was a pretty big thing to play in,” he said. “We didn’t have the best season, so to go out and play with the best in our district and in the area was a really nice thing to do.”
Like Strowd, Burnett failed to register a hit, going 0-2 in the game, which ended in a 6-6 tie. He noted how impressive the talent was at the game.
“The competition was incredible,” he said. “Everybody just kind of introduced themselves and right away everyone was at home and felt really comfortable. It was nice to get to play with that level competition. You knew everybody was there for the same reason. It was kind of a nervous feeling, but at the same time it was cool to get to play against all that talent.”
And it wasn’t just the other players that made an impact on Burnett, who has committed to play at North Lake Junior College next year.
“The ballpark was amazing,” he said, adding that the crowd was bigger than he anticipated. “I wasn’t prepared for that. During warmups the bleachers were full and it was really a cool experience.”
Palmer, a Cisco Junior College signee, pitched one inning in the game. He allowed no runs and no hits and recorded one strikeout.