Sweeny vs. Kilgore

Sweeny’s Cord Filipp, right, dives back to first base ahead of the tag by Kilgore’s Brayden Johnson during the Class 4A state semifinal game June 5 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin.

Sweeny Bulldog graduate Cord Filipp knew he wanted to play baseball at the next level, but wasn’t sure whether anyone wanted to take a chance with him.

Fortunately, a visit to a baseball camp at Coastal Bend College in Beeville took care of that concern.

“The coaches really liked the way I used the whole field to hit the ball,” Filipp said. “They liked my arm strength from my infield work and they also liked the way I used my quick hands.”

A second baseman for the Bulldogs, Filipp made the most of his at-bats in the lineup, normally hitting at the bottom of the order. For his senior season, Filipp batted .384 in 37 games, 97 at-bats with 29 hits, 17 RBIs, 29 scored runs, eight doubles, a .433 slugging percentage to go with a .929 fielding percentage with 64 putouts out of 70 opportunities, three double plays and five errors.

“They want me to play either second base or shortstop,” Filipp said. “The last time that I played shortstop was last summer.”

Filipp did have another possibility but decided to stay close to home.

“I went to a visit at Vernon College and did a workout for them as well,” he said. “They were also interested, but Vernon was eight hours away, so I just decided on Coastal.”

Uncertain whether he was going to play select ball this summer, Filipp understands playing at the next level will be more difficult.

“I know the competition will be a lot better, so I just need to get bigger and stronger,” Filipp said. “I will spend a lot of time just working out and practicing to prepare.”

Playing with most of his teammates since they were 5 years old, Filipp enjoyed the last couple of seasons with the Bulldogs.

“It was exciting, two years back to back and it was disappointing not to win the trophy,” he said. “But I thought it was pretty good to make it to the championship game two years in a row. At the end in that final game, I just couldn’t believe that it was over because we’d played together for so long.”

Filipp said he owes his improvement on the diamond to his teammates.

“They were so talented that they just made me work that much harder,” he said. “I also learned that from going to baseball camps. But growing up and playing with my teammates was awesome, but they made me better by me working harder.

“At first when we first started playing we weren’t that good but we practiced every day and did all kinds of workouts. We just got better because of all the work we put in.”

Filipp doesn’t have a clear idea of what he wants to study. For now, he wants to play baseball and see where that takes him.

“I’d like to go into Coastal and try to take care of business, but I wouldn’t mind playing two years there and then moving on,” Filipp said.

Joel Luna is sports editor for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0160 or at joel.luna@thefacts.com

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