Strike-throwing sophomore lefty remains calm on the mound
Fowler allowed just one run over 15 innings
Four pitches. All can be thrown for strikes. That’s what you get with Broken Arrow Tiger sophomore pitcher Kai Fowler.
What you won’t see when he is on the mound is fist-pumping, glove-slapping emotion.
“His demeanor is real low key, but don’t be fooled by that because he’s a real competitor on the inside,” Dobson said of his young left-handed hurler who has allowed just one run in more than 15 innings on the young season.
Dobson went on to use words like “strike thrower,” “guy who pounds the zone,” and “typical left-hander” in quantifying the early success of Fowler. And, had it not been for an unfortunate elbow injury to senior Tate Robards, Fowler’s breakout season may have been limited to non-district games.
As it is, he is now the guy called on to start high-leverage district opening games.
“Guys that have never pitched on the varsity level; you never know until you get them out there in game situations,” Dobson said. “Obviously we trust him because he is pitching the front end of our district games. We feel like he has enough ability to keep us in games.”
To that end he has. He pitched 12 innings before allowing a run at Ponca City earlier this week. While he is not a pitcher that will “wow with power," as Dobson put it, his command is enough to register less than one walk or hit per inning.
“I didn’t expect it to go like this,” Fowler said of his unforeseen start to his 10th grade season. “It’s pretty crazy. But it’s exciting. I feel pretty good right now.”
And his coach feels pretty good about what he is seeing from Fowler on the mound.
“When you’re making guys hit to get on instead of walking them and giving up a hit, then that gives you your best chance,” Dobson said. “Along with his fastball, he has a couple of other pitches that he can throw for strikes off any count. He’s had success in keeping hitters off stride a little bit, so they haven’t been able to sit on his fastball.
“If he can continue to do those things then we have a chance to stay in every ball game. That’s what he’s been able to do so far.”
Fowler’s success in scrimmages prepared him for district play because “I got to see what it would be like in the real season and show me what I needed to work on.”
Dobson agrees with his pitcher’s personal assessment.
“He didn’t seem like he was in awe of anything,” the coach said. “He was able to keep his poise.”
Though Fowler admits he was “pretty nervous” for his first start against Union, those anxieties have somewhat diminished.
“I thought it would be super hard on me,” he confessed. “But I’m just going to keep on doing the same thing: hit my spots and trust my defense.”
That’s all that Dobson asks of his strike-throwing, zone-pounding, typical left-hander, who also happens to be just a sophomore.