HOUSTON CHRONICLE ARCHIVES
Paper: Houston Chronicle
Date: SUN 06/06/2004
Section: Sports 2
Edition: 2 STAR
BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR / Patton's place near perfection /
Tomball lefty dominant despite many distractions
For Tomball lefthander Troy Patton, the 2004 campaign was the culmination of several things: a senior season that marked the convergence of the efforts of his coaches and his three prior years of varsity experience, as well as a final turn in a Tomball uniform that produced results that validated what occurs when potential and determination intersect.
Patton's statistics - a spotless 12-0 record, a microscopic 0.91 ERA and an unfathomable opponents batting average against of .122 - alone support his selection as Chronicle Player of the Year. Factor in the hoopla surrounding his amateur draft status and the pressure that comes with producing under such circumstances and his unexpected, exponential improvement as a hitter, and the case for Patton is confirmed.
"I knew that I had a lot more team leadership on my shoulders this year with three pitchers leaving (via graduation)," Patton said. "I knew it was really, really important for me to win every game that I was in. It ended up happening like that, so it was good."
Coming off a sparkling junior season in which he posted a 9-1 record with a 1.15 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 54 innings, Patton wanted to not only improve upon those numbers but help offset the graduation of pitchers Doug Frame and Blake Rampy (both to Texas A&M) and Eric Krebs (Alvin Community College).
In leading the Cougars to the top spot in the Baseball America poll, Patton tossed three no-hitters - including a six-inning perfect game against Cypress Falls. He struck out 142 batters in 77 innings while allowing just 24 hits and two dozen walks. Patton struck out 65 percent of the batters he faced and posted a 6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Over 14 appearances (including 11 starts), the most hits Patton allowed in one outing was five.
And Patton was no one-trick pony. He hit .323 with 10 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs. He did all this while scouts dissected every pitch of every start.
"I tried to block it out as best I could," Patton said of the watchful eyes. "I went through it last year and learned from Doug how to block it out.
"I'm very pleased (with the results). I hoped for this, but I didn't really expect this."
COACH OF THE YEAR
J.D. Sellers, Kempner
P Cory Fowler Sr. Woodlands
P Allen Harrington Sr. PN-Groves
P Brandon Sr. Katy Szymcyzk
P Aaron Thompson Jr. Second Bapt.
P Braxton Watson Sr. Spring
C Brian Juhl Sr. Katy
IF Aja Barto Jr. Stratford
IF Justin Glover Sr. Westside
IF Shon Landry Sr. LC-M
IF Derek Myers Sr. Bellaire
OF Jay Bruce Jr. Beau. WB
OF David McLeod Sr. Katy Taylor
OF Dane Nielsen Jr. Clements
DH Andrew Walker Sr. Bellaire
UT Sean McLemore Sr. Pearland
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