WEBB CITY, Mo —Two of the three seniors at Webb City have one baseball season left before they go from being coached by Flave Darnell to his older brother, Bryce.
On top of that, right-handed pitcher Cole Gayman and infielder Treghan Parker are staying with their local roots, signing to play college baseball at Missouri Southern on Nov. 11 when the NCAA's early signing period began.
On Wednesday afternoon, Webb City hosted a celebration signing for the duo plus outfielder Matt Woodmansee (Labette Community College) in the commons area at Webb City High School.
“Treghan is a heckuva of an infielder,” Webb City baseball coach Flave Darnell said. “Cole is a heckuva pitcher. They will add depth to Southern, for sure. Matt going to Labette is a great fit for him. He is a great outfielder and had an awesome summer. I’m really looking forward to watching him continue to progress. Webb City baseball has a really rich tradition. They have had a lot of really good players and a lot of players who have played college baseball.
“It’s great to see these guys be able to do that at Southern. It’s an added bonus that they are local and playing for my brother. That will be great.”
Gayman underwent Tommy John surgery a little over a year ago, wiping out his junior season in football and baseball. The hurler said last week he feels stronger now than his pre-surgery form and that showed over the summer for the Cardinals.
He topped out at 86 miles per hour on his fastball, a 3 mph improvement from where he was at in 2019.
“I think the transition will be pretty easy,” Gayman said. “It’s close to home. Me and Treghan know the guys already, so I think they will take us in pretty well. I’m looking forward to contributing to the team as soon as I can — on the mound or whatever I need to do.”
Parker did not play his junior season due to COVID-19. He entered last spring as a first-team Central Ozark Conference honoree, hitting .420 with four doubles and four triples in 2019.
The infielder said he has always dreamed of playing baseball at the next level.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Parker said. “It feels different (to wear green and gold), but I’m excited. Just to have a program right here, right by us to where our families can support us is going to be cool. We are going to look to do big things there.”
Woodmansee was looking at schools like College of the Ozarks, Southwest Baptist and Pittsburg State, but ultimately picked Labette because it was the best fit for him.
“I just think Labette was the best,” he said. “It felt great to sign with them, felt like everything paid off. I’m ready to work hard here and move on.”
Darnell said he picked up baseball activity with his team over the summer, specifically during Memorial Day weekend when they were allowed to start playing games. Webb City played closed to 40 games during the summer with a team “that is basically going to be our high school team coming into this spring.”
But first things first before Webb City even starts thinking about ramping up baseball activities.
“We hope football wins another state title,” Darnell said. “When they are done, we will start picking baseball up.”