It was a special year of high school baseball in the Wiregrass this past season with four teams earning state titles.
Those four teams – Providence Christian, G.W. Long, Pike Liberal Arts and Lakeside School – were recognized for their talented players by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, receiving 19 all-state nods, including eight first-team selections.
With the four title teams leading the way, the Dothan Eagle coverage area had 37 players receive all-state recognition by the ASWA, which released its all-state baseball teams today.
Leading the accolades were Providence Christian junior Grayson Stewart and G.W. Long senior Matt Snell. Stewart was named the Class 3A Pitcher and Player of the Year and Snell earned Class 2A Pitcher and Player of the Year honors.
Two area coaches also received ASWA recognition. Opp coach Mike Cassady was named Class 3A Coach of the Year and Pike Liberal Arts coach Allen Ponder the AISA Coach of the Year.
Providence Christian’s Stewart finished with a 9-1 pitching record, one save, a 1.94 ERA and 0.95 WHIP (19 walks/50 hits in Wiregrass-high 72 1/3 innings). He struck out 85 and pitched five shutouts, including a two-hit blanking of Piedmont in the state finals.
Stewart also hit .355 and had a .486 on-base percentage with 24 RBIs and 31 runs scored as he helped the Eagles to a 30-9 record and the Class 3A title.
Snell, a Troy signee, finished 12-1 as a pitcher, earning the most wins in the state in AHSAA. He earned a Wiregrass-high 104 strikeouts over 70 innings and had a 1.00 ERA and 0.89 WHIP (13 walks/49 hits in 70 innings).
Offensively, Snell had a .536 batting average and .654 on-base percentage, both tops in Class 2A with a minimum of 75 at-bats. He belted 12 homers, second most in the state (all classes), and drove in 63 runs and scored 64 runs. He also hit 11 doubles, walked 28 times, was hit by 12 pitches and struck out only eight times in 154 at-bats in helping the Rebels to a 34-6 record and the 2A title.
Opp’s Cassady directed a strong second-half surge for the Bobcats, who earned 15 straight wins to overcome a 4-7 start to reach the Class 3A state quarterfinals before losing to Gordo and finishing 19-9.
Pike Lib’s Ponder led the Patriots to the AISA Class AAA state title, capped by a stunning upset over previously undefeated Morgan Academy in the state finals’ series, overcoming a run-rule loss in the first game to do so. Pike Lib finished 26-11.
Providence Christian, G.W. Long and Lakeside all had five players honored by the ASWA and Pike Liberal Arts had four.
In addition to Stewart, Brayden Banner was selected first-team all-state in Class 3A and Will Solomon, David Warren and Coleman Wright all earned second-team all-state for Providence Christian.
Christian Collier joined Snell on the first team for G.W. Long in Class 2A. Slade Simmons was second team and Caison Long and Kam Faria were honorable mention all-state.
Lakeside, which won the AISA AA state title, had first-team AISA honorees in Christian Beasley and Taylor Gover, second-team members in Jayce James and Auston Welsh and an honorable mention in Brandon Leroy.
Pike Lib was represented by Holt Steed and Davis Allen on AISA first team, Chandler Golden on second team and Jade Sikes on honorable mention.
Other Wiregrass players earning first-team all-state were Rehobeth’s DJ Law and Charles Henderson’s Brock Huner in Class 5A, Headland’s Jake Killingsworth in Class 4A, Houston Academy’s Don Williams and Wicksburg’s Kade Snell in 3A and Ariton’s Carson Fain and Goshen’s Bryan Galloway in Class 2A.
Other area players earning second-team all-state were Enterprise’s Grant Thornton in Class 7A, Northview’s Blake Burkhalter and Dothan’s Te’Relle George-Mills in Class 6A, Opp’s Logan Ross in Class 3A, Cottonwood’s Jordan Coachman and Goshen’s McGwire Stanley in 2A and Northside Methodist’s Jonny Robinson in AISA.
Making honorable mention were Enterprise’s McCain Sieving in Class 7A, Charles Henderson’s Lawson Scarbrough in 5A and Opp’s Brady James and Geneva’s Mason Coskrey in 3A.
DJ Law, Rehobeth senior, Class 5A catcher: Law finished with a .437 batting average (38-of-87) and .524 on-base percentage with six home runs, 12 doubles, 22 RBIs and 20 runs, while striking out only seven times in 103 at-bats. Threw out 14 of 25 would be base stealers.
Brock Huner, Charles Henderson senior, Class 5A infielder: Huner hit .407 (37-of-91) and had a .562 on-base percentage with 29 RBIs, 45 runs, nine doubles, five triples and 35 walks.
Jake Killingsworth, Headland junior, Class 4A designated hitter: Killingsworth hit .390 (38-of-78) and had a .539 on-base percentage with 11 doubles, 29 RBIs and 23 runs scored.
Don Williams, Houston Academy junior, Class 3A catcher: Williams had a .563 batting average (49-of-87) and .672 on-base percentage, both Wiregrass bests. He had 12 doubles, a Wiregrass-co high seven triples, 28 RBIs and 28 runs.
Brayden Banner, Providence Christian senior, Class 3A outfielder: Banner hit a team-high .394 (41-of-104) and had a .467 on-base percentage with 33 RBIs and 19 runs scored.
Kade Snell, Wicksburg junior, Class 3A utility: Snell had a 3-3 record, 2.18 ERA, 0.98 WHIP (18 walks/26 hits in 45 innings) and 87 strikeouts as a pitcher and had a .453 batting average (29-of-64), a .551 on-base percentage and 17 RBIs on offense.
Carson Fain, Ariton senior, Class 2A infielder: Fain hit .419 (52-of-124) and had a .535 on-base percentage with four homers, 16 doubles, 40 RBIs, 47 runs, 20 walks and 11 hit by pitches.
Christian Collier, G.W. Long senior, Class 2A outfielder: Collier had a .336 batting average (41-of-122) and a .468 on-base percentage with four homers, nine doubles, 42 RBIs, 46 runs and 25 walks.
Bryan Galloway, Goshen junior, Class 2A designated hitter: Galloway had a .535 batting average (38-of-71) and had a .646 on-base percentage with 23 RBIs, 42 runs, three triples, 21 walks and was 32-of-36 on stolen bases.
Holt Steed, Pike Liberal Arts junior, AISA pitcher: Steed had an 8-1 record, 2.14 ERA, 1.38 WHIP (28 walks/44 hits in 52 1/3 innings) and 52 strikeouts. Pitched four shutouts.
Christian Beasley, Lakeside senior, AISA infielder: Beasley batted .482 (40-of-83) and had a.610 on-base percentage with six homers, 35 RBIs, 44 runs, 21 walks, 11 hit by pitches and struck out just six times in 115 at-bats.
Taylor Gover, Lakeside senior, AISA infielder: Gover batted .476 (39-of-82) and had a .564 on-base percentage with four homers, 48 RBIs, 36 runs, eight doubles, four triples and was 9-of-9 on stolen bases. He struck out just eight times in 103 at-bats.
Davis Allen, Pike Liberal Arts junior, AISA outfielder: Allen batted .429 (45-of-105) and had a .542 on-base percentage with 36 RBIs, 45 runs, 26 walks and was 11-of-11 on steals.
Grant Thornton, Enterprise senior, Class 7A utility: Thornton, an outfielder, third baseman and pitcher, had a .324 batting average (34-of-105) and .411 on-base percentage, 24 runs, 13 steals and a team-high 26 runs batted in. As a reliever, he was 1-1 with a 1.62 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings
Blake Burkhalter, Northview senior, Class 6A pitcher: Burkhalter, an Auburn signee, was 5-2 with a 0.67 ERA and 0.69 WHIP (only 14 walks/15 hits in 42 innings). He struck out 91 (second most in Wiregrass), averaging 15.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
Te’Relle George-Mills, Dothan sophomore, Class 6A infielder: Mills hit .351 (26-of-74) and had a .495 on-base percentage with 20 RBIs, 20 runs scored, five doubles.
Logan Ross, Opp senior, Class 3A pitcher: Ross had a 5-1 record with a 1.67 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP (29 hits/13 walks in 42 innings), 54 strikeouts, three shutouts and one no-hitter.
Will Solomon, Providence Christian senior, Class 3A infielder: Solomon hit .376 (50-of-133) and had a .452 on-base percentage, 22 RBIs and team-high 43 runs and 11 doubles.
David Warren, Providence Christian senior, Class 3A utility: Warren, an outfielder and pitcher, hit .382 (42-of-110) with a .482 on-base percentage, 27 RBIs, 34 runs and struck out only five times in 154 plate appearances, while earning a 7-5 pitching record with a 2.69 ERA and 53 strikeouts over 65 innings.
Coleman Wright, Providence Christian senior, Class 3A designated hitter: Wright hit .299, but had a team-high 504 on-base percentage behind a team-high 24 walks and 16 hit by pitches. Also had team-highs of six homers and 36 RBIs.
Slade Simmons, G.W. Long senior, Class 2A catcher: Simmons batted .397 (50-of-126) and had a .516 on-base percentage, 40 RBIs, 55 runs, team-high 28 doubles, three triples, 9-of-9 steals and 23 walks.
McGwire Stanley, Goshen junior, Class 2A infielder: Stanley hit .507 (37-of-73) and had a .582 on-base percentage with 26 RBIs, 29 runs, seven doubles, a co-Wiregrass high seven triples, and was 11-of-13 on steals.
Jordan Coachman, Cottonwood senior, Class 2A utility: Coachman, a pitcher, first baseman and third baseman, was 6-0 with a 1.35 ERA, a 0.48 WHIP (16 hits/9 walks in 52 innings) and 69 strikeouts in 52 innings. He also hit .421 (32-of-76) with 27 RBIs, 24 runs.
Jayce James, Lakeside junior, AISA pitcher: James was 6-3 with a 2.52 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings.
Auston Welsh, Lakeside junior, AISA infielder: Welsh batted .444 (48-of-108) and had a .520 on-base percentage with four homers, 12 doubles, 31 RBIs, 53 runs and was 11-of-12 on steals.
Chandler Golden, Pike Liberal Arts senior, AISA utility: Golden, a third baseman/pitcher, hit .306 (30-of-98) and had a .414 on-base percentage with team-high in RBIs (38), homers (5) and doubles (14), while scoring 37 runs. Had a 6-1 record with a 2.74 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP (33 hits/12 walks in 38 1/3 innings) and 43 strikeouts.
Jonny Robinson, Northside Methodist junior, AISA designated hitter: Robinson had a .441 batting average (52-of-118) and a .511 on-base percentage with five homers, 12 doubles, three triples, 27 RBIs, 36 runs, and was 11-of-13 on stolen bases.