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6 Wildcats Named To All Region Team
June 24, 2014St. Lukes Episcopal School
MOBILE, Alabama – Spanish Fort’s Jesse McCord was good as a sophomore and even better as a junior.
However, Toros’ coach Brent Boyd said the Mississippi State signee definitely saved his best for his senior season On The Hill.
The right-hander went 12-1 with a 0.73 ERA and 122 strikeouts in leading Spanish Fort to its fourth Class 5A state title in five years.
“I think this year the culmination of Jesse’s work ethic and attitude produced one of the better players I have ever coached,” Boyd said. “He stayed late every night. He worked on the little things – fielding at first base and third, hitting in the cage. All that played a huge role in him being even more successful than he was earlier in his career.”
For the second year in a row, McCord is the Press-Register’s Coastal Alabama Baseball Player of the Year. Owen Davis, who stabilized the Daphne program after replacing veteran Joe Hutchins early in the season, is the Coach of the Year.
McCord’s pitching numbers were impressive again. In 86 innings, he allowed just nine earned runs and 24 walks.
Half of his 16 starts were shutouts. His record on the mound for the Toros during his final two seasons was 21-2.
“Jesse is always going to be successful because of the way he works at it,” Boyd said. “That is always going to be there. I hope at Spanish Fort we prepare our kids so they can step in and not be wide-eyed when they get to college. I know Jesse will be ready.”
McCord may have saved his best high school performance for his final game on the mound. He struck out 14 batters in a complete-game, 6-0 shutout of Cullman in Game 1 of the Class 5A championship series in Montgomery.
Cullman freshman phenom Owen Lovell came in with 14 home runs, a 26-game hitting streak and a .450 batting average. He left with three strikeouts in as many at-bats against McCord.
“Jesse did his homework,” Boyd said. “We had a good scouting report on Lovell, who is a great player. Jesse was just not going to be defeated that day, by him or anyone else. He came in with the attitude that he had been on that stage before, he knew what he could do and he wasn’t going to lose. He didn’t make many mistakes that day, if any.”
McCord, who primarily played first base this season when he wasn’t pitching, also was solid at the plate. He hit .352 with 35 RBIs and 33 runs scored batting in the middle of a potent Spanish Fort lineup.
However, Boyd – a former star at Alabama – said he believed McCord would be primarily at pitcher when he arrives in Starkville.
“I would love to see him get the opportunity to hit,” he said. “However, when you are in that type of program, it is hard to focus on more than one thing. Jesse needs to go in and concentrate on pitching. A lot of work goes into playing at the Division 1 level. It’s a 365 day-a –year job to get that opportunity and a 365 day job to keep it.”
The 29-year-old Davis spent the entire 2014 season as interim coach when Daphne replaced Hutchins after just four games. He was named the full-time coach late last month.
As the interim coach, Davis kept the Daphne team unified and led the Trojans to a 19-17 record, a second place finish in the tightly contested 6A, Area 3 race and a berth in the second round of the playoffs. He did it despite making the transition to head coach without Hutchins’ two top assistants, who both decided not to return after he was replaced.
“I really didn’t make many changes,” Davis said during the team’s run in the playoffs. “I might have tweaked the batting order a little here or there. Mainly, we just let the kids know that we care and are going to work as hard as we can to make them as good as they can be.”
2014 COASTAL ALABAMA ALL-REGION BASEBALL TEAM
Player of the Year: Jesse McCord, Spanish Fort … Senior went 12-1 on the mound with a .73 ERA in leading the Toros to their fourth Class 5A state title in five years. The Mississippi State signee also batted .352 with 35 RBIs and 33 runs scored.
Coach of the Year: Owen Davis, Daphne … Led Daphne to a 19-17 record and a Class 6A playoff berth after stepping in for former coach Joe Hutchins four games into the season.
C: Brian Lane, Spanish Fort … Senior was an Iron Man for the 5A state champs behind the plate. He hit .424 from his cleanup spot with 38 RBIs. He struck out just four times in 132 at-bats. He will play at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College next year.
1B: Drew Dismukes, St. Luke’s … Senior helped St. Luke’s to its second straight Class 1A state title. He batted .459 with 32 RBIs, 38 runs scored and 10 stolen bases.
2B: Luke Phillips, St. Luke’s … Junior hit .439 in the Wildcats’ run to the state championship with 31 RBIs, 47 runs scored and 27 stolen bases.
3B: Jalen Henry, Foley … Junior hit .383 with 24 RBIs, 28 runs scored and 15 stolen bases for coach Steve Garrett’s Lions.
SS: Troy Dixon, UMS-Wright … Junior hit .420 for the Bulldogs with 30 RBIs, 50 runs scored and 30 stolen bases. He was an All-Region pick at designated hitter as a sophomore.
OF: Malik Rosier, Faith Academy … Senior made the move from All-Region catcher to center field for the Rams this year and still managed to excel. He hit .436 with four homers, 22 RBIs, 43 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. He plans to play football and baseball at the University of Miami.
OF: Rob Perteet, Spanish Fort … Senior Samford signee hit .466 with 21 RBIs, 25 runs scored and 10 stolen bases for the state champs. He made the All-Regions first team for the second straight season.
OF: Dalton Filotei, Daphne … Senior hit .378 for the Trojans with 21 stolen bases and 28 runs scored. He will play baseball next year at George Washington.
P: Leighton Lary, St. Luke’s … The sophomore made the team for a second year in a row, going 12-2 with a 1.06 ERA as the Wildcats won the 1A state title. He struck out 70 batters and threw five shutouts.
P: Brax Garrett, Foley … The sophomore went 8-2 with the Lions with a 1.23 ERA. He struck out 108 in just 57 innings. He made the 2013 All-Region squad as a utility player.
P: Hunter Avery, Mobile Christian … Sophomore went 9-2 with a 1.50 ERA for the Leopards. He struck out 72 and pitched three shutouts.
P: Chase Brunson, Baker … Senior pitched the Hornets into the state semifinals, going 9-3 with a 0.97 ERA. He allowed just 11 earned runs in 79.1 innings.
P: Allen Haynes, Alma Bryant … Senior helped Hurricanes to the second round of the playoffs. He went 10-0 on the mound and also hit .461 at the plate.
Utility: Brandon Cook, St. Luke’s … Senior had a stellar season on the mound and at the plate. He went 10-2-1 with a 1.71 ERA and also hit .455 with 45 RBIs and 22 runs scored.
Utility: Will Luft, Spanish Fort … Senior is now a two-time All-Region pick. He went 6-0 in spot duty on the mound for the Toros, beating Cullman in Game 2 of the championship series with five solid innings. He hit .323 with four homers, 25 RBIs and 45 runs scored.
DH: Hunter Slater, Bayside Academy … Senior Southern Miss signee hit .440 with two home runs, 41 RBIs and 21 runs scored.
DH: Jalen Thompson, St. Paul’s … Junior shortstop led the Saints to a 29-4 record and a berth in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Catcher: Nick Franzone, Baker; Chase Crump, Daphne; Kenny Stidham, Foley; Cody Evans, MGM; Hayden Nichols, Clarke Prep; Colby Rouse, Murphy.
1B: Matt Thompson, Saraland; Dylan Szymanski, Satsuma; Austin Chastang, Bayside Academy; Peyton Wilson, Jackson Academy; Chad Broussard, Robertsdale.
2B: Colin Atchison, Baker; Nathan Hawk, Jackson; Grant Barber, UMS-Wright; Jacob Stewart, Baldwin County; Dylan Alford, Spanish Fort; Harry Satterwhite, McGill-Toolen; Corey Lowe, Lowndes Academy.
3B: Caleb Boles, Mary G. Montgomery; Jacob Panelli, Faith Academy; Tanner Allen, UMS-Wright; Tripp Puckett, Bayside Academy; Zac Griffin, T.R. Miller; Danny Haskell, St. Luke’s; Brant Lewis, Marengo Academy.
SS: Tanner Lee, Daphne; Garrett Headley, Lowndes Academy; Jeremiah Jackson, St. Luke’s; Jimmy Tran, Alma Bryant; Tanner Luker, Sweet Water.
OF: Daniel Dees, Leroy; Bailey Daniels, Fairhope; Jimmie Johnstone, Baldwin County; Mike Thompson, Baldwin County; Chauncey Callier, UMS-Wright; Austin Moseley, St. Paul’s; Deshaun Allen, Alma Bryant; Alazae Lynn, Alma Bryant; Dylan Crutcher, Baker; Greg Parker, Bayside Academy; Colby Myers, Clarke Prep.
P: Lukas Young, Baker; Tyler Lowery, Daphne; Will Shaw, Mary G. Montgomery; Morgan Richburg, Faith Academy; Gunner Hendrix, Spanish Fort; Brett Patterson, UMS-Wright; Kyle Davis, T.R. Miller; Braxton Wallace, Leroy; Caleb Tucker, Clarke Prep; Hayden Huckabee, Marengo Academy; Payton Robinson, St. Paul’s; Ryan Warren, Vigor.
Utility: Tony Kucera, Robertsdale; Collin Barrett, Murphy; Jordan Sawyer, Murphy; Ryan Hughes, Davidson; Hunter Stokes, Spanish Fort; Chris Bender, Alma Bryant; Justin Collier, Baker.
DH: Keegan Curtis, Davidson; Kyle Friday, Marengo; Caleb Tucker, Clarke Prep.
Updated 5:26 p.m. June 6, 2014, to add Vigor's Ryan Warren as honorable mention pitcher. He was unintentionally left off the final list.