Sunday, June 29, 2014
All-Area Baseball Team 2014 FIRST TEAM
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Pitcher : Daulton Hor ton, Guyer, Sr. The Guyer senior earned District 5-4A pitcher of the year honors as the only pitcher in the district to beat every team and proved to be one of the area’s true aces. His competitive grit gave him the edge against every team he faced until he lost his final start, 2-0, to a loaded Cleburne team. Horton finished 9-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 62 innings of work.
Ted Wisdom Sanger, SS, Senior Notable: Of all the top hitters in the area, there were none better than Sanger’s senior shortstop, a four-year starter for the Indians. In his final season, Wisdom put up some remarkable offensive numbers, earning the respect of several area coaches. In leading the Indians to the third round of the playoffs, Wisdom helped Sanger match its best playoff run in program history by being a near-impossible out. He hit .524 on the season with a .603 onbase percentage and a lofty 1.400 OPS. He had 15 doubles, three triples, three home runs and a team-best 36 RBIs. If that wasn’t enough, Wisdom was also a perfect 31-for-31 on stolen base attempts as an all-around headache for opponents. In Sanger’s opening playoff game against eventual state runner-up Argyle, Wisdom was a double shy of the cycle before he was intentionally walked in the Indians’ win. Wisdom, who will continue his baseball career at Northern Oklahoma College, was the District 9-3A most valuable player.
Pitcher : Grant Landr y, Lake Dallas, So. As a sophomore in his first year as a varsity starter, Landry was a bright spot for a youthful Falcons team, that nearly pulled a first-round playoff upset, and their head coach John Tompkins. Landry finished the season with a 5-3 record to go with his 2.83 ERA. In 49 1/3 innings, Landry fanned 39 batters and walked just 10. Pitcher : Jor dan Par ker, Liber ty Christian, Sr. The Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College signee helped lead his team to the TAPPS 5A playoffs with his 5-3 record and 2.46 ERA in 48 1/3 innings pitched. With his fastball leading the way, Parker showed his efficiency by posting an impressive ratio of 70 strikeouts to just 19 walks to cap his high school career at Liberty Christian. Pitcher : Noah Vaughn, Aubrey, Jr. Coming into his own in his junior season as the Chaps No. 1 pitcher, Vaughn propelled his team into the Class 3A playoffs with his 2.31 ERA in 45 1/3 innings pitched. As one of Aubrey’s team leaders, Vaughn struck out 40, earning a 4-4 record while also hitting in the No. 4 spot for the Chaps’ offense. He’ll be a core piece of the Chaps’ team next season.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Parker Mushinski Argyle, P/1B, Senior Notable: No matter where Mushinski was on the field, the big lefty was a threat to opposing teams. Mushinski batted third in Argyle’s order, and the Texas Tech signee delivered more often than not for the 3A state finalist. Mushinski batted .374 on the season with a whopping nine home runs and 37 RBIs, a testament to the power he possessed in the heart of Argyle’s lineup. His patience at the plate, coupled with the occasional reluctance by pitchers to throw him strikes, resulted in 40 walks for the left-handed power hitter. On the mound, Mushinski brought the heat. The lefty used his fastball capable of touching the low 90s to go 7-2 with a 2.47 ERA, 97 strikeouts and 56 walks. Mushinski was named District 10-3A’s most valuable player following his stellar senior season.
Catcher : Christian Boulware, Lake Dallas, So. After breaking onto the scene as a freshman last year, Boulware continued progressing behind the plate in 2014 while earning firstteam catcher honors in District 5-4A. Boulware helped carry the Falcons’ lineup with a .315 batting average with three doubles and 17 RBIs. He also had a .394 on-base percentage. Catcher : Austen Lange, Sanger, Sr. Lange was a big reason why the Indians enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in school history. The senior catcher capped the year with a .324 batting average and a .420 on-base percentage. He showed power while belting out eight home runs and 33 RBIs for a team that reached the 3A Region II quarterfinals. Infielder : Connor McMann, Liber ty Christian, Sr. In his final season, McMann posted a .435 batting average with a .490 on-base percentage and a 1.349 on-base plus slugging percentage. McMann paced his team with 26 RBIs with 11 doubles, five triples and 17 runs scored while also compiling a 6-2 record on the mound with a 2.75 ERA, 58 strikeouts and 26 walks. He also notched a save. Infielder : Jackson Owens, Lake Dallas, Sr. Owens, a Florida State signee, capped his career as a four-year starter and continued his reign as one of the top players in the area at shortstop. He led Lake Dallas with a .344 batting average with four doubles, a triple and three home runs. He stole 21 bases and scored 28 runs with a .425 on-base percentage. As a closer, he notched seven saves. Infielder : Wilding Smith, Sanger, Jr. Smith was one of Sanger’s most productive hitters and was efficient once he got on base. The junior third baseman hit .371 on the year with nine doubles, 19 RBIs and a .440 onbase percentage. He scored 29 runs and was one of many prominent base-stealers at Sanger with 22 stolen bases, while he was only caught twice. Infielder : Aaron Studdar d, Guyer, Jr. Studdard breathed some new life into Guyer’s defense when he returned to Denton after moving away and starting his high school career in North Carolina. Studdard earned District 5-4A defensive player of the year honors with a .959 fielding percentage. He showed great range in the field and had just four errors at shortstop. He hit .323 with four doubles.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR Drew Gooch
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Notable: The potential Gooch showed as a freshman came full circle during his senior year. The TCU signee was borderline flawless and set the standard for Argyle pitchers to follow. He went 10-0 with a 0.58 ERA — the lowest in school history. Gooch also had a key save against Texarkana Pleasant Grove and picked up a win in Game 3 of the Region II semifinal. Gooch missed a chunk of the regular season because of a shoulder injury, but he dazzled in the playoffs. Gooch didn’t disappoint in the state tournament, as he threw a one-hitter in Argyle’s win over Sinton in the state semifinal. Over the course of his career, Gooch went 30-3 with a 1.42 ERA and three saves.
Sanger, OF, Junior Notable: As the table-setter in Sanger’s lineup, Escobedo was the epitome of head coach Steve Ford’s aggressive style. He hit .466 with a .512 on-base percentage to go with six doubles, four triples, a home run and 24 RBIs while scoring a team-high 45 runs. Once he was on the bases, he was a pest, stealing 26 bases on 27 attempts. His exploits with the bat earned him offensive player of the year honors in District 9-3A, but he was also lethal on the mound as Sanger’s closer. On the season, Escobedo was 1-0 and a perfect 7-for-7 on save opportunities.
SECOND TEAM P — Colten Lucas, Krum, Sr. P — Hunter Markwardt, Argyle, Jr. P — Ross Scott, Sanger, Sr. P — Tristan Tom, Lake Dallas, Jr. C — Colten Graham, Krum, So. C — Benn Hawkins, Liberty Christian, Sr. IF — Tanner Boyzuick, Argyle, So. IF — James Farris, Guyer, Jr. IF — Mark Johnson, Denton, Sr. IF — Collin Knight, Ponder, Sr. OF — Luke Chavez, Liberty Christian, Jr. OF — Brandon Hendricks, Guyer, Jr. OF — Connor Torbert, Aubrey, Sr.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Ryley Balch Argyle, C, Junior Notable: Argyle didn’t know much about Ryley Balch when he transferred to the school during the summer. But the Eagles — and the rest of the area — quickly found out what the junior catcher brought to the table. The District 10-3A offensive player of the year batted .386 with three home runs, seven doubles and three triples. But the number that is most important, considering Balch’s position as the No. 4 batter in Argyle’s lineup, is the 37 RBIs he tallied over the course of the season. Behind the plate, Balch finished the season with a .981 fielding percentage and committed just six errors in helping lead the Eagles to their first state tournament appearance.
Outfielder : Ryan Bur ks, Ryans, Jr. Burks hit .308 on the season with 10 RBIs, seven doubles and 15 stolen bases, stats that led Ryan across the board. In perhaps the toughest district in Texas, he batted .356 in 5-5A play, against several of the state’s top pitchers. On the mound, he pitched in two of Ryan’s four wins this season and tallied a 3.78 ERA in 46 1/3 innings.
COACH OF THE YEAR Ricky Griffin Argyle
Outfielder : Hunter Griffith, Liber ty Christian, Jr. Leading the Warriors’ regulars in batting with a .457 average, Griffith showed steady defense in the outfield in his junior season. His speed out of the batter’s box and along the base paths contributed to his 1.059 on-base plus slugging percentage while also racking up six stolen bases on seven attempts, 25 runs and 19 RBIs. Outfielder : Cutter McDonald, Arg yle, Jr. When Argyle needed a big hit in the postseason, McDonald delivered and he was usually in scoring position afterward. The junior centerfielder finished the season with a .363 batting average, four home runs, and 26 RBIs. He also pounded out eight doubles, three triples and had a .417 on-base percentage to go with his .990 OPS. He also scored 36 runs.
Photos are by Denton Record-Chronicle photographer David Minton, along with DRC file photos and courtesy photos.
Team selected by Denton Record-Chronicle staff in consultation with area coaches.
NEWCOMER PLAYER OF THE YEAR Connor Herriage Guyer, OF, Freshman Notable: Herriage emerged as Guyer’s most consistent offensive threat in a well-rounded District 5-4A. The freshman left fielder led the Wildcats in several offensive categories and always seemed to come up with clutch hits. Herriage hit .430 to lead the team in average and earned District 5-4A newcomer of the year honors while posting team-highs in runs (25) and RBIs (23) with seven doubles and two triples. He was named third-team all-state by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Notable: Griffin might not want to say it, but this year was a special one for the coach who had never taken a team to the state tournament. Twice his Eagles had fallen short in the regional final, but this year, Argyle defeated Texarkana Pleasant Grove and Paris North Lamar to reach the 3A state tournament, where the Eagles had the state-clinching run 90 feet away from home. Argyle has not missed the playoffs since Griffin took over in 2008, and he made the most of a talented squad that included two left-handed pitchers that signed with prominent Big 12 programs (Drew Gooch, TCU; Parker Mushinski, Texas Tech). It was a year Griffin will not only remember but try to build upon.