Category: Baseball

Evan Ren’s 2022 BCP Baseball/Softball All-Hustle Team: The hardest-working players in the area!

OTHER 2022 ALL-BIG COUNTRY PREPS TEAMS

Character, grit and work ethic aren’t seen in a box score. And it is with our Big Country Preps All-Hustle Team that we wish to honor those players (male and female) who exemplify those qualities. 

The All-Hustle team isn’t about who the best baseball and softball players were. It honors the best teammates. 

It is here where effort, discipline and coachability — traits that coaches wish they had in every player and upon which championships are built — are honored.

It is for that reason that this team is largely selected by area coaches and described in their own words.

Big Country Preps is now honored to present these individuals to you — the best team players (boys and girls) that the Big Country had to offer during the 2022 baseball and softball seasons.

The players below are listed in no particular order. 

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2022 Big Country Preps Baseball Superlatives

Here are our superlative award winners for the 2022 All-Big Country Preps baseball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

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2022 All-Big Country Preps Baseball: First-Team Roster

Here are our first-team selections for the 2022 All-Big Country Preps baseball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

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2022 All-Big Country Preps Baseball: Second-Team Roster (w/ honorable mention)

Here are our second-team selections for the 2022 All-Big Country Preps baseball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

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2022 Big Country Preps Rising Stars Baseball Team: The top freshmen and sophomores in the Big Country!

Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to release our 2022 All-Big Country Preps baseball teams. 

Here, you will find our Rising Stars Team honoring the top freshmen and sophomores in the Big Country.

For the rest of this year’s girls basketball selections, please click the links at the bottom of the next page.

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GAME STORY: Brock can’t hold onto early lead, rally late in 16-13 state title game loss to London

ROUND ROCK — A second seventh-inning rally in as many days was just too much for Brock to ask for, as the Eagles saw their bid for the Class 3A state championship come up a few runs short in a 16-13 loss to Corpus Christi London on Saturday at Dell Diamond.

BHS, which scored two seventh-inning runs to claim a 7-6 walk-off win over Diboll in the state semifinals on Friday, rallied from a six-run deficit to pull within two (15-13) after 5½ innings Saturday. But after London tacked on an insurance with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, the Eagles could manage only a walk in their final trip to the plate, seeing their season end with loss to the Pirates for the second straight year.

Brock, which scored four in the first inning and five in the second, led 9-4 after 1½ innings and maintained a 9-7 advantage until the bottom of the fourth. But the Pirates scored five runs in that inning to take their first lead at 12-9 and tacked on three more in the fifth to increase their lead to six heading into the sixth inning.

Those two rallies concluded a stretch of 11 unanswered runs for London, which was able to hold from there to win the highest scoring state championship game in UIL history.

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GAME STORY: Brock rallies for wild walk-off win over Diboll in Class 3A state semifinals

ROUND ROCK — On a day when virtually any ball hit in the air to the right side was an adventure, the Brock baseball team was both the beneficiary and victim of some high-sun wackiness in its Class 3A state semifinal matchup with Diboll on Friday at Dell Diamond.

But with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Eagles caught the biggest and final break when what appeared to be routine fly ball off the bat resulted in a two-run, walk-off error and a dramatic 7-6 win over the Lumberjacks.

With his team down to its final out after watching Diboll rally from a 5-4 deficit in the top of the inning, Brock catcher Gavin Boedeker stepped the plate as the Eagles’ last hope. The junior sent the first pitch he saw off reliever Gabe Smith in the air to medium deep right field, but after fighting the sun and drifting to the spot, DHS outfielder Riley Sarmiento had the ball bounce off the heel of his glove and out, allowing Peyton Shaffer and Cam Harris to score the tying and winning runs, respectively.

It was a wild ending to an intensely competitive affair, sending the Eagles to their first state championship game since 2006.

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STATE BASEBALL PREVIEW: Brock looking to break through state semifinal barrier against Diboll

First-year Brock baseball coach Tim Arden wasn’t coaching the Eagles when they fell in the Class 3A state semifinals to Corpus Christi London last June, but he knows the impact that loss had on his returning players.

Back in the same round one year later, with a semifinal matchup against Diboll set for noon Friday at Round Rock’s Dell Diamond, this year’s BHS team is determined to avoid the same fate suffered in 2021.

Whether it’s a rematch with London (24-13) or a date with Gunter (36-1), the Eagles want to be playing for their second state title when the championship game begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday. But having seen each of their last four state trips end in the semifinals, they know well the challenge that lies ahead.

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FEATURE: Brock banking on pitching and defense heading into state tournament

BROCK — While it may sound clichéd to say that pitching and defense wins championships, one is hard-pressed to find teams in this year’s state baseball tournament that run contrary to the axiom.

And Brock (the lone representative in the Big Country Preps coverage area still that is still alive) fits the old saying as well as any other.

The Eagles (35-3) will face Diboll (38-4) in the Class 3A state semifinals at 1 p.m. on Friday at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The winner will advance to face either Gunter (36-1) or Corpus Christi London (24-13) at 9 a.m. on Saturday. 

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the kids,” first-year coach Brock coach Tim Arden said. “When I walked in, one of the first things I did was a defensive drill on pickoffs and rundowns. 

“And the way they executed pickoffs and rundowns without me saying a word, I knew I had a lot (of ability) to work with. These kids know how to play baseball and they’ve got the fundamentals down. … It’s by far the best defensive team I’ve ever coached.”

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GAME STORY: Argyle one-hits Stephenville in 4-0 win, ends Yellow Jackets’ run in I-4A finals

WEATHERFORD — In drawing five walks and three hit batsmen, the Stephenville baseball team did what it could to make Argyle’s pitchers work in Game 2 of the Region I-4A championship series Friday at Weatherford College. But any pressure applied ended on the base paths due to the Yellow Jackets’ inability to add a few clutch hits to their disciplined approach at the plate.

Eagles starter Trevor Duck pitched with runners in scoring position in four of his five innings on the mound, but he and reliever Hudson Emeterio combined to shut out the Jackets, limiting coach Justin Swenson’s squad to one hit while collecting 14 combined strikeouts in a 4-0 win.

The victory pushes Argyle through to the Class 4A state tournament, while Stephenville saw its season end one round shy of a second consecutive trip to Austin.

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GAME RECAP: Argyle too much for Stephenville, scores 8-1 win in series opener

WEATHERFORD — The Argyle baseball team got a strong pitching performance from Evan Brandt and took advantage of four Stephenville errors to down the Yellow Jackets 8-1 in Game 1 of the Region I-4A championship series Thursday night at Weatherford College.

The Eagles scored three runs in the third and two each in the fourth and sixth innings to take a 7-0 lead, and the two teams traded runs in the final frame as Argyle put Stephenville on the ropes heading into Friday’s Game 2. 

Of the Eagles’ eight runs, only four were earned. But even that was more support than needed for Brandt, who limited Stephenville to just one run on two hits and three walks over 6.1 strong innings.

Continue reading “GAME RECAP: Argyle too much for Stephenville, scores 8-1 win in series opener”

GAME RECAP: Brock outlasts Bowie in nine innings to clinch sweep, earn return trip to state

COPPELL — It took two extra innings Thursday, but the Brock baseball team finally got to the Bowie pitching staff, scoring three ninth-inning runs to break a 1-all tie for a 4-1 win in Game 2 of the Region I-3A championship series. 

The victory clinched a series sweep for the Eagles, who punched their ticket to the Class 3A state tournament for the second consecutive year.

Ian Fuchs and Dusty Baker were dominant on the mound, allowing one run on six combined hits and two walks over nine stellar innings, and the Brock offense found its groove late against reliever Kynan Demoss to outlast the Jackrabbits and improve to 35-3 on the year.

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GAME STORY: New Home’s big third inning spoils Albany’s fast start, fuels Leopards to Game 1 win

SNYDER — Scoring runs in each of the first two innings, the Albany baseball team got off to exactly the type of start it was hoping for in Game 1 of the Region I-2A championship series against New Home. But the Leopards used a three-run third to shift the momentum in their favor and led the rest of the way in a 5-3 win Thursday at Moffett Field.

Lions ace Cole Chapman was sharp for most of the game, putting up zeros in three of the five innings he pitched. But the junior right-hander temporarily lost his control in the third, and New Home took advantage, scoring three runs on two singles and four walks to erase the early 2-0 deficit.

The Leopards added two unearned runs in the fifth to go up 5-2, and the Lions could get only one of those runs back in their final three trips to the plate, falling behind in a series for the first time in their playoff run.

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GAME RECAP: Boedeker tosses two-hit shutout as Brock takes Game 1 from Bowie

COPPELL — Tristan Boedeker was nothing short of dominant on Wednesday, collecting 10 strikeouts during a two-hit shutout to lift the Brock baseball team to a 3-0 win over Bowie in Game 1 of the Region I-3A championship series.

The senior right-hander needed just 98 pitches to dispatch the Jackrabbits, throwing 64 of those for strikes. He walked just two to go with his two hits allowed, never allowing a Bowie baserunner to reach scoring position.

The Eagle lineup, meanwhile, gave its starter all the run support he would need during a two-run first inning, spoiling an otherwise strong outing for Bowie starter Carson Sanders.

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GAME STORY: Anson sees season end in Region I-2A semis with 13-12 loss to New Home

It took three months, but the Anson baseball team finally met its match, falling in three games to New Home to end a noteworthy season in the Region I-2A semifinals.

Coming off an 11-6 defeat in Friday’s series opener — the Tigers’ first loss since March 12 and just their second of the season to that point — AHS bounced back with a 4-2 win in Game 2 to force a deciding third game. But coach Scotty Nichols team couldn’t quite complete a doubleheader sweep Saturday at Abilene Christian University’s Crutcher Scott Field, dropping a 13-12 decision in the rubber match to close its campaign at 26-3-1.

The Tigers, who rallied from a 7-0 deficit after 1½ innings to pull within a run in the sixth, had ample opportunities in the clincher, but they left 12 runners stranded, including nine in scoring position. Anson got the tying run to second in the bottom of the seventh, but New Home reliever Owen Morris got Stryker Dillard to fly out to shallow right field and Dylyn Pyle to foul out to catcher Ryan Bundy to end the Tigers’ playoff run.

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GAME STORY: Stephenville uses big seventh inning to put away scrappy Snyder club

Following his team’s Game 1 win over Snyder on Thursday, Stephenville baseball coach Justin Swenson said his Yellow Jackets would need to come ready to play Saturday because the Tigers wouldn’t go down easy.

He was right.

Despite racing out to a 6-1 lead after 2½ innings, the Jackets found themselves in a one-run game heading into the sixth in Game 2. And even after putting up six runs in the top of the seventh to build a seven-run cushion, Swenson’s squad had to hold off one final Snyder rally before it could finally celebrate a 12-8 win and a sweep of its Region I-4A semifinal series at Hardin-Simmons University’s Hunter Field. 

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GAME STORY: Coahoma rallies to eliminate Holliday, advances to state tournament

ABILENE — If someone had told you that the Coahoma softball team would see its top four hitters held to one combined RBI on a day that the team committed seven errors against defending regional champion Holliday, would you have guessed a win or a loss for CHS? 

Set logic aside. 

Not only did the Bulldoggettes rally to eliminate Holliday with a 7-4 win in Game 2 of their Region I-3A championship series at Abilene Christian University, but they did it with the bottom half of their lineup. 

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GAME STORY: Rudel, big seventh inning fuel Aledo to 8-0 win over Wylie to secure series sweep

Wylie ace Brooks Gay kept his team in the game as long as he could Friday, but the Bulldogs could never solve Aledo starter Hunter Rudel in a season-ending 8-0 loss at Abilene Christian University’s Crutcher Scott Field. 

WHS, which fell 2-1 in Game 1 of the Region I-5A semifinals series on Thursday, trailed 1-0 after five innings and 2-0 heading into the seventh Friday, but the Bearcats roughed up four Bulldogs pitchers for six runs in the final inning to pull away and secure the series sweep.

For the game, Gay allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits and three walks, using eight big strikeouts to pitch out of any major trouble. But he was outdueled by Rudel, who limited the Bulldogs to two hits and three walks with five strikeouts in a complete-game shutout as Aledo eliminated the Bulldogs for the second consecutive season.

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FEATURE: Deep, dominant pitching staff fueling Anson baseball’s run

At the Class 2A level, pitching quality and depth is a luxury not all coaches can boast. So the fact that Anson baseball coach Scotty Nichols has four pitchers he feels confident throwing in any situation and three others who can give him innings when he needs them makes him unique among his peers.

That blessing has not been lost on Nichols, whose staff has posted a 1.61 team ERA and 1.033 WHIP heading into its Region I-2A semifinals series against New Home.

Behind that staff, Anson has gone 25-1-1 this season. And thanks in large part to what its members provide on a game-to-game basis, the Tigers, who missed state by a single game last year, have their sights set on earning their first state tournament appearance 2014. 

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GAME STORY: Elston, Stephenville cage Snyder Tigers in gritty Game 1 win

Thursday’s Region I-4A semifinals series opener between Stephenville and Snyder was evenly played in a lot of ways. In the end, it came down to one simple factor: The Yellow Jackets made the most of their scoring opportunities and the Tigers didn’t.

A glance at the scoreboard at the end of the game would show each team with eight hits and two errors. But Snyder left 12 runners on base, including nine in scoring position, resulting in the biggest and most significant difference in the final linescore — a 6-2 Stephenville advantage in the runs column.

The victory, secured in front of a boisterous crowd at Abilene Christian University’s Crutcher Scott Field, moved the Yellow Jackets (23-10-1) one win away from their second consecutive trip to region finals. But to achieve that, they’ll have to put away a scrappy Tigers squad on Saturday, when the series moves to Hardin-Simmons’ Hunter Field for Game 2 and Game 3, if necessary. 

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GAME RECAP: Wylie drops pitchers’ duel to Aledo in Game 1 of I-5A semifinals series

WEATHERFORD — The Wylie baseball team dropped a hard-fought series opener to Aledo on Thursday, losing 2-1 at Weatherford College to fall behind 1-0 in the Region I-5A semifinal series between the two squads.

The Bulldogs outhit the Bearcats 6-5 and didn’t trail for the first time until the bottom of the sixth, but their inability to score after the first inning off AHS starter Ethan Jaques left them on the wrong end of a scoreboard when the game ended.

Wylie pitchers Trey Gomez and Grayson Bearden combined to limit Aledo to five hits, four walks and the two runs over six strong innings, but they were outdueled by Jaques, who surrendered one unearned run in seven innings to earn the complete-game win.

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FEATURE: Goodwins to square off in father-son showdown for trip to the state tournament

The text came across Tyler Goodwin’s phone once Ira got off to a great start against Westbrook and after Nazareth had already locked up its berth in the Region I-A finals.  

“I think I’m going to puke,” it read.     

Don’t blame Kristi Goodwin for feeling this way. Either her husband, who has spent the past 24 years coaching at Ira, will lead the Bulldogs to their first state tournament in program history.  

Or her oldest son will return the Swifts to Dell Diamond in his first season as their head baseball coach.  

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GAME STORY: Wall forces Game 3, but runs out of steam in 2-1 series loss to Bowie

After dropping its series opener against Bowie on Thursday, the Wall baseball team rallied to beat the Jackrabbits 6-3 in Game 2 to force a deciding third game on Saturday. But ultimately, the youthful Hawks ran out of gas in a 12-0 loss in Game 3, seeing their surprising run end in the Region I-3A quarterfinals at 27-8.

Wall, which had just four seniors on this year’s team and relied heavily on a number of freshmen and sophomores, gave itself a chance to advance to next week’s region semifinals with a strong showing in Game 2.

But Bowie’s Cade Thompson was too strong on the mound in Game 3, and the Hawks simply ran out of pitching during an eight-run sixth that broke open what had been a competitive game to that point.

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GAME STORY: Big fifth-inning lifts Brock to another run-rule victory over Holliday in Game 2

The Brock baseball team needed a few more innings to get going in their second game against Holliday than they did in Game 1. But in the end, the result was the same. 

Coach Tim Arden’s Eagles used a nine-run fifth inning to break open what was a 1-all ballgame to that point, before tacking on three more runs in the sixth to follow Friday’s 10-0 win with a 13-1 run-rule victory less than 24 hours later.

Saturday’s result completed an impressive sweep at Abilene Christian University’s Crutcher Scott Field and earned Brock a Region I-3A semifinals date with Idalou (22-5) next week.

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GAME STORY: Strosnider, Brock bats shine in run-rule win over Holliday in opener

Facing off with an outstanding Holliday team in what could be considered the state’s premier region quarterfinals series, the Brock baseball team took the suspense out of Game 1 quickly on Friday, run-ruling HHS 10-0 at Abilene Christian University’s Crutcher Scott Field.

Left-hander Sawyer Strosnider took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and his lineup provided near constant support off Holliday starter Grant Cox, scoring in four of their six trips to the plate before putting the run rule in effect with two outs in the sixth. 

Brock (30-3) outhit its counterpart 12-1, getting three hits from Strosnider, who also scored a team-high three runs to lead the offense as well. That effort sets up coach Tim Arden’s team with a chance to eliminate Holliday (31-4) when the series resumes at 4:30 p.m. Saturday back at ACU.

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GAME STORY: Albany finishes strong, takes Game 1 from Coleman, 7-1

Through three and a half innings, Game 1 of a Region I-2A quarterfinal between Albany and Coleman lived up to its billing at McMurry University, with the score knotted at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth 

From that point forward, however, an experienced Albany club owned Walt Driggers Field and closed with a 7-1 win on Friday. 

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GAME RECAP: Wylie baseball closes out El Paso Del Valle with 11-0 win in Game 2

MONAHANS — The Wylie baseball team wrapped up a Region I-5A quarterfinals sweep over El Paso Del Valle on Friday, following Thursday’s 3-1 victory with an 11-0 win in Game 2 to advance to the fourth round of the Class 5A playoffs. 

Brooks Gay limited the Conquistadors to just one hit in a five-inning shutout in the clincher as the Bulldogs improved to 25-5 on the season.

Wylie will now await the conclusion of the series between Aledo and Burleson Centennial to find out who its opponent will be next week in the I-5A semifinals.

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FEATURE: Scrappy Snyder Tigers at their best when times get tough

When the Snyder baseball team rallied from a tough Game 1 loss to earn a pair of extra-inning wins and advance past a talented Andrews squad last week, some may have been surprised by the Tigers’ resiliency.

SHS coach Shane Stewart was not.

Snyder came from behind one time after another during that doubleheader sweep on Saturday, beating the Mustangs 8-7 and 10-7 — both in eight innings — to earn a Region I-4A quarterfinals date with El Paso Riverside this week. It was a dramatic conclusion to a thrilling series, but one that didn’t shock the Tigers coach, who has seen his team come from behind too many times and win too many close games to be surprised by either anymore.

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GAME STORY: Stephenville downs Iowa Park 8-4 in Game 2 to keep series, season alive

STEPHENVILLE — Facing elimination after dropping Wednesday’s series opener to Iowa Park 7-4, the Stephenville baseball team gave coach Justin Swenson and a rowdy home crowd exactly what they were looking for in Game 2 on Thursday.

Fueled by a three-run first inning and a strong start by senior ace Reece Elston, the Yellow Jackets never trailed in an 8-4 win over the Hawks at the Tarleton State University baseball field.

The win, which improved Stephenville to 21-11-1 on the year, extends the Region I-5A quarterfinals series to a deciding third game, which is slated for 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Justin Northwest.

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