It was still lingering for Daniel Cole.

The Harker Heights baseball star pitched the first two innings of the Central Texas All-Star Game on Monday in Waco, and it was the first time he had set foot on a mound since the Knights fell to Allen in a three-game series on May 11-13.

Cole was advised by the coaching staff at McLennan Community College, where he will move on and play collegiately, to give his arm a rest at the conclusion of the season.

“I’ve been taking a break on my arm,” Cole said. “Honestly, I haven’t had a true break on my arm in I don’t know how long. From playing quarterback in football in the fall to baseball, including summer baseball, it’s been nonstop work on my arm.

“So, that’s one of the things coach (Chris) Berry and coach (Mitch) Thompson told me — they want me to rest up. Of course, get a little workout in, but I’m starting their throwing program in July.”

Cole was thrilled to get back on the hill Monday. It had been nearly a month since Harker Heights faced Allen, but the loss was still on his mind.

“Over time, you kind of let it go,” Cole said. “But still, it’s lingering around in my mind a little — that loss to Allen. I felt like I could’ve done more, but you live and you learn.

“Failure makes you want to work harder, so next time you have that opportunity, you succeed.”

Monday’s all-star game helped keep the loss off his mind.

Cole allowed a run in his two innings, but he struck out three. His fastball had its usual life, although he was a bit rusty from not getting much work on the mound of late.

“I was amped up,” Cole said. “It was definitely different being out here with these guys I’ve played with before in the past. Seeing old friends, it’s really unique.

“Being out there and seeing different people in the stands — people I’ve never seen before getting to watch me pitch — and being able to pitch in front of new people and even new players, it kind of amped me up. It was really exciting.”

Cole was also 1 for 2 at the plate with a first-inning single to left field that loaded the bases for the South All-Stars with no outs.

“It’s actually funny,” Cole said. “I haven’t picked up a bat since the season ended, either. I went up there and on my first two swings, I was reaching out and fouling balls off.

“It had been so long since I swung a bat, so it was kind of nerve-racking. But I went up there and trusted my mechanics; I’ve done this before. I went up there pretty confident.”

The South ended up scoring twice in the frame, but eventually succumbed by a score of 5-4 in walkoff fashion in the bottom of the seventh.

Waco Midway’s Caden Henderson blasted a one-out double deep to left field for the North All-Stars, scoring Groesbeck’s Chandler Boyd from second base to end the game.

Boyd doubled into the gap in left-center to lead off in the inning.

Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Previously spent time as sports editor at both the Hereford Brand and the Gatesville Messenger. Graduate of West Texas A&M University.

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