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Brandon Cook and Leighton Lary Take Home Top Awards
June 24, 2014St. Lukes Episcopal School
MOBILE, Alabama – Class 5A state champ Spanish Fort and Class 1A state champ St. Luke’s dominated their respective classifications as the Alabama Sports Writers Association released its annual All-State Baseball Teams today.
The Toros boasted 5A Pitcher and Player of the Year Jesse McCord and two other first-team selections. The Wildcats can claim the 1A Pitcher of the Year (Leighton Lary), the Hitter and Player of the Year (Brandon Cook) and two additional first-team choices.
“The guys who made all-state this year made huge impacts for us,” Spanish Fort coach Brent Boyd said. “They are four seniors who did what they were supposed to do to help our team be successful. We had some younger guys that probably could have made it as well, but their time is coming. They will continue to get better. I’m ecstatic about the guys who were chosen.”
McCord, the two-time Press-Register Coastal Alabama Player of the Year and a Mississippi State signee, led Spanish Fort to its fourth state title in five years. The right-hander went 12-1 with a 0.73 ERA and 122 strikeouts. He also hit .352 with 35 RBIs and 33 runs scored.
Joining McCord on the Class 5A first team were catcher Brian Lane and shortstop/pitcher Will Luft, who made it as a utility player. Lane hit .424 and drove in 38 runs from his cleanup spot. Luft, who won Game 2 against Cullman to clinch the 5A championship series, went 6-0 on the mound and hit .323 with 45 runs scored.
Samford signee Rob Perteet was an honorable mention selection in the outfield.
St. Luke’s won its second straight 1A title behind Lary and Cook. Lary went 12-2 with a 1.06 ERA for the Wildcats. Cook went 10-2-1 on the mound and also hit .455 with 45 RBIs.
“Brandon had a fantastic year,” said former St. Luke’s coach Tim Becker, who took the job at McGill-Toolen following the season. “I think he had 32 wins on the mound in his career. Most of his abilities were used as a pitcher early in his career.
“For him to come and do what he did pitching as a senior and almost hit .500 -- that showed that he is a complete player. He led the team in RBIs. I think he really reached down and said, ‘Listen, I can do a great job for St. Luke’s, not just as a pitcher, but on the offensive side as well.’”
Cook and Lary were joined on the 1A first team by first baseman Drew Dismukes and second baseman Luke Phillips. Third baseman Danny Haskell was an honorable mention selection at designated hitter.
“I thought the guys we had make the team were very deserving,” Becker said.
Other Coastal Alabama first-team All-State selections were Foley’s Brax Garrett (6A), Faith Academy’s Malik Rosier (5A), UMS-Wright’s Troy Dixon (4A), Leroy’s Braxton Wallace and Sweet Water’s Tanner Luker (2A) and Clarke Prep’s Hayden Nichols, Colby Myers and Caleb Tucker, Lowndes Academy’s Corey Lowe and Marengo Academy's Kyle Friday (AISA).