Early-season results provide strong evidence that Marcus McKoy is on track to becoming a top-flight pitcher for Calvary Baptist Day School. In a late-game relief stint against Davidson Day School in late March, the junior left-hander found himself in tight situations at times, but still managed to pitch his way out of trouble.
In the sixth inning, Davidson had two runners on base with no outs. McKoy derailed the potential rally by forcing an infield grounder, which resulted in a double play. The next batter grounded out to end the inning.
The seventh produced the same results. The most impressive sequence came when McKoy threw a down-and-away change-up to strike out Lamar Briggs, who blasted a solo home run off Calvary’s starting pitcher earlier in the game. Then, with two men on and two outs, McKoy coaxed another ground-out to the third baseman, which ended that scoring threat.
“Marcus has a huge upside,” said Coach Chris Vogler. “His fastball is in the mid-80s range and he has a lot of movement on it. Offensively, he has tremendous power at the plate. If he goes to the right college program, he’ll get bigger and stronger and there’s no telling how far he can go from there. This is his first year with us, and already, it’s clear that he’s our top player. Even though we haven’t settled on a (starting) pitching rotation yet, I can tell you right now that he’s among the top three.”
McKoy, who stands 6-feet-3 and weighs 200 pounds, has sufficient velocity to blow his fastball past hitters, but that’s not really his forte. He’s primarily a low-ball pitcher who throws a sharp-breaking curve, that complements a change-up pitch which he throws at different speeds. McKoy has also added a splitter and a knuckle-curve to his repertoire.
“This is a good situation for me at Calvary Baptist,” said McKoy, who played at Mount Tabor last season. “I’m most pleased with my coaches, my teammates and getting more playing time. Putting all of that together gives me everything I need to better myself. My goal is to play college baseball one day. Being where I am now gives me the best chance to do that.”
At the high school level, McKoy’s athleticism ensures that he’ll play other positions when it’s not his turn to pitch. Depending on opponent and game situations, Vogler will play McKoy in left field or at first base.
While McKoy is eager to contribute in any way he can, he makes it clear that being a pitcher, a position he’s played since he started playing Little League at the age of four, is his preference.
“I don’t see myself as a power pitcher or a finesse pitcher,” he said. “It’s more like a combination of the two. When I’m out there, I focus on throwing strikes and keeping my mind clear.”