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Gaither Cowboys

Last year: 16-12 Class 4A, District 6

Coach: Frank Permuy, eighth year.

Assistants: Landy Faedo.

Classification: Class 4A, District 6.

Nickname: Cowboys.

Stadium: Gaither Field, 16200 N Dale Mabry.

Record: 16-12. Won district tournament before losing to Bloomingdale in the regionals.

Key players: Jeff Mantei (pitcher), Jason Schultz (outfield), J.B. Keys (outfield), Jason McQuiniff (second base, DH), Justin Klein (third base), Steven Cuervo (catcher), Joel Ramos (shortstop), Brian Burns (first base), Todd Falkner (outfield).

Strengths: Gaither has a veteran outfield and speed on the bases. The Cowboys also feature a solid defensive unit.

Weaknesses: With only one returner, Gaither's pitching will be the biggest question mark. The Cowboys also lack offensive power, and will need to manufacture runs.

Outlook: Gaither will be a singles and doubles team, using a lot of running and situational baseball. The Cowboys will need their pitching to mature early to be successful. After a slow start last year, the team finished strong. Permuy is hoping for early success, so the team is even more confident during the post-season.

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