Dominating pitchers, standout hitters and two members of Pike Liberal Arts state championship team were among the 11 Wiregrass players chosen all-state baseball players by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
The two members of the Pike Liberal Arts state championship team also earned two of the three top awards in the AISA from the ASWA. Florida State signee Mayes White, a senior shortstop, was named the AISA Player of the Year, while junior Drew Nelson was named the AISA Pitcher of the Year.
White, a senior shortstop, finished with a .337 batting average, four homers, eight doubles, two triples, 22 runs batted in, 41 runs and stole 21-of-23 bases for the Patriots. He was also a strong defensive player for Pike Lib.
Nelson, a junior pitcher/right fielder, was the ace of the state champion Patriot staff, going 8-1 with a 0.94 ERA and a 0.87 walks/hits to innings pitched ratio. The ERA and WHIP were the best in the AISA for any pitcher that threw 40 plus innings. He also had 97 strikeouts, second most in the AISA. Nelson also threw an AISA-leading four shutouts plus one no-hitter.
The two were among 11 area players chosen first team all-state. The others included dominating pitchers Chase Allsup of Dothan, Bryce Cunningham of Headland and Nash Evans of Ariton, all college signees, plus Rehobeth’s Lane Cook and Joe Watkins, Providence Christian’s Jake Smith and Abe Chancellor, G.W. Long’s Trevor Morris and Ariton’s Landon Thrash.
Allsup, who has signed with Auburn, was chosen first-team pitcher in Class 7A. In 12 appearances, he earned a 9-1 record with a 1.73 earned run average and a 1.15 walks/hits to innings pitched ratio, while striking out 107 and allowing only 24 walks.
Cunningham, a Vanderbilt signee, was tabbed first-team pitcher in Class 5A. In only eight games as a pitcher, he had a 6-1 record with a 0.76 ERA and 0.72 WHIP (4 walks/29 hits in 46 innings) with 76 strikeouts to only four walks in 46 innings. He pitched three shutouts and one no-hitter.
Evans, who signed with Enterprise State, was named first-team pitcher in Class 2A after finishing with a 9-3 record and one save for the state semifinal Purple Cats. He had a 1.35 ERA and 0.97 walks/hits to innings pitched ratio. He earned a Wiregrass-best 110 strikeouts and threw a Wiregrass-high 72 1/3 innings. He walked just 15 batters out of 277 batters faced, while throwing three shutouts and one no-hitter.
Rehobeth’s Watkins, a senior shortstop, was chosen a first-team 5A infielder. He finished with a .494 batting average and .604 on-base percentage with two homers, 10 doubles, a Wiregrass co-high six triples, 30 runs batted in, 41 runs scored and was 18-of-20 on steals.
Rehobeth’s Cook, a junior outfielder, was tabbed a first teamer after hitting .481 and having a .539 on-base percentage with 12 doubles, 27 runs, 19 runs batted in. He was also 11-of-11 on steals and struck out only six times.
Providence Christian’s Jake Smith, perhaps the most dynamic hitter in the Wiregrass, earned first team in 3A as an infielder. The junior shortstop hit .459 and had a .583 on-base percentage with Wiregrass-best of 10 homers and 17 doubles plus 41 RBI, 45 runs, three triples and 27 walks. He also stole 24-of-27 bases.
Providence Christian’s Chancellor, a senior, was named first team as a Class 3A outfielder. He hit .435 and had a .514 on-base percentage with 13 doubles, two triples, 27 RBI and 29 runs. He was also 11-of-14 on stolen bases.
G.W. Long’s Morris, a junior shortstop, was selected as a 2A first-team infielder. He had a team-high .435 batting average and a .555 on-base percentage. He led the Wiregrass in runs scored (53) and steals (37 in 38 attempts). He also drove in 22 runs and struck out only 11 times in 139 plate appearances.
Ariton’s Thrash, a senior, was chosen first team in Class 2A outfield. He had a .427 batting average and .526 on-base percentage with 12 doubles, three triples, 23 RBI and 40 runs. He was 34-of-39 on stolen bases.
Thirteen Wiregrass players earned second-team all-state accolades. Dothan’s Te’Relle George-Mills and Enterprise’s Parker Sessions were chosen in Class 7A, Eufaula’s Hess Horne in Class 6A, Rehobeth’s Tanner Wells in 5A and Providence Christian’s Harrison Mims, Wicksburg’s Jackson Glover and Houston Academy’s Braydon Harvin in Class 3A. G.W. Long’s Jackson Chancey, Blayne McDaniel and Carson Dunlap along with Ariton’s Landon Tyler were chosen in Class 2A. Kinston’s Cale Sumblin was selected in 1A and Pike Liberal Arts’ Levi Sikes in AISA.