By: Coleman Swierc
You could hardly call him big.
"I'm 5'9, 160 pounds."
You might mistake him for an 8th grader.
"He does look a little young in the face, we give him some because he is such a baby face."
And his fastball, might not even break your window, but Lufkin senior pitcher Marcus Drake may be the hardest pitcher to hit in all of district 15-5A.
"The thing with Marcus, is that he makes everyone of his balls move, he never throws a straight ball, and he gets alot of movement," says Lufkin Head Coach Clay Berry, "that is what keeps him effective, he keeps the ball down and gets a whole lot of late movement."
Most of his pitches wont even register on the radar gun, but don't tell that to the guys walking back to the dugout.
"If you watch me on the mound, and I throw one of those pitches, I just start smiling, because I know that they have no chance, because it is just so slow, and those are the hardest pitches in the world to hit," says Drake, "those that just float up there, and you just rare back and try to kill it, those are the hardest pitches to hit."
Hard to hit, and hard to rattle, Drake has heard it all on the mound, but it seems to end in silence.
"That is the best feeling I get on the mound, when I have all these guys yelling at me, and I just completely dominate them, that is the best feeling in the world."
"Even though everyone makes fun of him for what he does, they cant do anything about it, so it is really easy for us to go out there and get those 1-2-3 innings, and just come back in there," says Drake's catcher, junior Zach Marberry, "and we are the ones laughing and giggling about how he just go out of that inning real quick."
So as his pitches float past batters, Drake is powering the Panthers right to the post-season.