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Tournaments  | Story  | 6/9/2023

McDowell Shines, Astros Roll

Olivia Bontempo     
Photo: Darrell McDowell (Perfect Game)
The East Cobb Astros Texas Orange 16u team is one of many premier teams part of the East Cobb Baseball organization. The Marietta, Georgia based organization partners with Perfect Game in putting on tournaments year-round at the East Cobb Baseball Complex.

“The one thing about the Astros team is we practice a lot, and we play a ton of games,” head coach Todd Harris said after the Astros 10-2 win on Friday. “So just having the energy and effort the players have kind of came with that every single day, and it's been a pleasure, and it's been a joy to coach these guys so far this summer.”

With players represented from states all around the country, the culture of this Astros Texas Orange team has helped add to each player's travel ball experience.

“It has been really good (coaching this summer),” Harris said. “We've got kids from out of town, from South Georgia, we've got kids from Alabama, and we got kids here locally and it's actually been a really good experience for us.”

Among this 16u squad are a handful of players who have already announced their commitments to further their baseball careers at colleges like Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Ohio State, South Carolina, and Texas.

Darrell, or DJ McDowell although uncommitted, has piqued a lot of scouts' interests and his coach’s.

“DJ McDowell has been a pretty standout player to me so far,” Harris said. “Not only playing, but just him as a person.”

The rising junior who attends Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia, can be found on the mound or at third base. The right-handed pitcher, who recently has been topping out his fastball at 91 mph, was named to GHSA’s first team All-Region this past spring, representing Lassiter.

“He has stepped his game up and really, really impressed me with how he goes about his business. How he throws bullpens, as far as, in between games and then once he goes out on the mound and just being a good teammate in the dugout,” Harris said about McDowell.

In the SE Memorial Day Classic, McDowell started on the mound against the US Elite Georgia 17u team and pitched 4.1 innings, limiting the team to only two hits, striking out seven of their batters. After getting the win, McDowell was then named to the tournaments All Tournament Team List.

“I think he just needs to continue to work, like he has done,” Harris said. “That is the one thing from last year to this year, he has really done a good job working on his game and it's really showing, so that's been good.”

McDowell and the Astros Texas Orange, after a 17-2 win Thursday and the 10-2 win yesterday, are scheduled to face Midland Premier Tn this afternoon for their final pool game before heading to bracket play at the PG Battle of the Southeast.