JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
BURNET — Burnet High School senior pitcher Taylor Barksdale signed a letter of intent April 30 to play for Temple College for the 2015-16 school year.
“It’s a good fit for me,” he said. “I love the atmosphere out there. It just felt like home; it felt comfortable.”
Barksdale’s ERA this season is under 1.00 with 82 strikeouts. He’s credited with at least eight wins, and throws in the high 80s for the playoff-bound Bulldogs (12-9-2 overall, 6-4 in District 25-4A).
Still, the pitcher said he has several goals he believes Temple College will help him accomplish.
“I definitely think they’ll make me a little more baseball smart and physically help me as well,” he said.
What that means, he said, is studying batters and being able to know which pitch to throw during an at-bat. It also means knowing when to set up a batter to make the outcome go in the favor of the pitcher, he added.
“There’s a certain mental aspect you have to have when you play baseball,” Barksdale said. “You always have to know what you’re going to do next.”
Burnet head coach Todd Doucet said he spoke with six other District 25-4A coaches, who praised Barksdale.
“We were six for six on who was the dominate pitcher in this district this year,” Doucet said. “They all said, ‘The one guy we didn’t want to face is Taylor Barksdale.’”
The son of Russell and Mary Jane Barksdale will major in kinesiology.
Barksdale said playing for the Bulldogs has been invaluable to him.
“It’s taught me how to be a team player,” he said. “I love every single one of these guys. We compete 24-7.”
Doucet said he knows the pitcher will be successful.
“The number one thing for me as a baseball coach is the love of the game,” he said. “When you love the game, it makes going out to play look easy. Success comes with a lot of hard work.”