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Paper: Houston Chronicle
Date: MON 04/06/1998
Section: Sports
Page: 9
Edition: 3 STAR

FB Austin's Sheffield has bright future


When a high school baseball player throws 92 mph, one might say he is destined for the big leagues.

In this case, it could very well be true.

Fort Bend Austin senior Chris Sheffield is the person throwing the heat past hitters this season, which helped make him the Chronicle's Boys Athlete of the Week.

Sheffield threw seven innings last week and struck out 16 hitters. The Bulldogs are 16-2 overall and 6-0 in District 3-5A.

"It was a good team effort," Sheffield said. "We've been getting the job done at the plate more than what we have been in the past."

The Bulldogs have been helping the pitching staff out this season. They beat Willowridge 25-0 Tuesday and 5-4 in nine innings Friday.

Sheffield picked up the win in both games.

"We knew we had to go after it," Sheffield said. "We've been getting more hits and scoring more runs."

Two players are batting over .500 and four are hitting around .400.

"We've been getting more help for our pitchers than in the past," Fort Bend Austin coach Todd Moehlig said. "Our goal was to hit .300 this year; so far we are hitting .368."

Sheffield has signed to play with the University of Miami, but the major leagues could be in the picture as well.

"The Braves, Rockies and San Diego have been around and showed quite an interest," said Bob Sheffield, Chris' father. "The kid really has worked for this; he is a very smart kid (3.70 grade-point average) and really studies the game."

With 60 strikeouts in 30 innings, you can bet he's getting a good look.

But for the time being, Moehlig hopes Sheffield is concentrating on one thing. Making the playoffs.

The Bulldogs missed them by one game last year.

"We have really improved as a team from a year ago," Moehlig said. "We have more hitting and the pitching has improved."

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