Every time that Coppell senior pitcher Chayton Krauss has stepped onto the mound this season, he delivers a sensational performance. Tuesday’s outing might have been his best to date.
Krauss tossed a no-hitter in a 1-0 victory for the Cowboys against Plano East.
The senior right-hander came close to perfection. Krauss had a perfect game working through 6.1 innings, but that attempt was ended by East senior Zachary Esquivel.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Esquivel hit a ground ball to the left side of the infield that was misplayed by the Cowboys -- a play that was ruled an error by the official scorer.
Esquivel represented the tying run for the Panthers. But, Krauss quickly returned to his dominant self. He induced a pop fly for the second out before getting the next East batter to ground out to end the game.
Krauss dazzled from the opening pitch. He struck out 12 and didn’t allow a walk. Krauss needed just 88 pitches to get through seven innings.
“He’s our leader,” Coppell head coach Ryan Howard said of Krauss. “This isn’t the first time that he’s stepped up big time in a big game for us. Obviously, he’s a weapon on the mound and our ace and a guy that we rally behind.”
Krauss needed every single strikeout as he went toe-to-toe with East senior Apollo Cassimatis in a low-scoring game. Cassimatis, who tossed a no-hitter of his own on March 4 against Mesquite Horn, was tagged with the loss despite allowing just one run on three hits to accompany nine strikeouts.
“It was a great night for both arms,” Howard said. “It was a tough offensive night. It was cold. The wind was blowing in. But both pitchers did a great job of keeping hitters off balance. I’m proud of the way that we were able to scratch across a run on a night when it was tough to hit the ball.”
Two of the hits that Cassimatis allowed came off the bat of Krauss, who helped to generate the game’s lone run. Krauss doubled with one out in the top of the sixth. Junior Andrew Nester came into the game as a courtesy runner for Krauss and went on to score on a safety squeeze. Walker Polk, a junior committed to Baylor, laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored Nester for a 1-0 Coppell lead.
It was the sixth straight District 6-6A win for the Cowboys (21-7-1 overall, 8-3 district), who occupy second place in the conference standings. Coppell had split its first three two-game series against Plano, Plano West and Marcus before rallying with sweeps of Hebron and Lewisville.
“We’re really mature,” Howard said. “We have an older group. A lot of them have played a lot of competitive ball together. They’ve grown as the season has gone along. And like what mature teams do, we’re able to make adjustments. We’ve still got some things to work out with our offense. But, our ability to stay in ballgames when we don’t necessarily have our ‘A-game’ with our line-up, is a testament to our toughness and the way that we approach the game.”
Coppell, ranked No. 16 in the latest Diamond Pro/THSB 6A Top 25 Poll, hosts East on Friday night before playing a non-district game at 11 a.m. Saturday against Southlake Carroll. The Cowboys the close out the regular season next week with a pair of games against Flower Mound – April 27 at Coppell, April 30 at Flower Mound – and a non-district affair versus Rockwall on May 1.