2009 All-Orange County Baseball Team
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:
Matt Hicks, Bridge City
Tim Barry, LC-M
Eric Matthews, Bridge City
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:
Caleb Kellogg, Bridge City
COACH OF THE YEAR:
Chad Landry, Bridge City
Pitchers: Shane Waddell, LC-M;
Cody Hodge, WO-S; Chaz Bruce, Vidor
1B: Clayton Gearhart – WO-S
2B: Joe Robertson – Bridge City
SS: Stefan Cloeren – LC-M
3B: Blake Hubbard – Bridge City
OF: Matt Johnson, LC-M, Luke Rhodes, Bridge City; Zach Peevey, Orangefield
C: Jacob Felts – Orangefield
DH: Dylan Mulhollan, Bridge City;
Taylor Thompson, LC-M
Utility Player: Jace Statum, Orangefield
Pitchers: Zane Anderson, WO-S; Anthoney Cessac, Bridge City; Brock Whitson, Orangefield
1B: Blake Snyder – Bridge City
2B: Scott Vaughn – LC-M
SS: Josh Watson – Orangefield
3B: Wade Estes – LC-M
OF: Derrick Evans, Orangefield; Kendal Veitch, WO-S; Dustin Breaux, Bridge City
C: Grant Encalade – Bridge City
DH: Matt Menard, Bridge City;
Jonathan Deramus, Orangefield
Utility Player: Quinten Evans, Orangefield
Chad Simms, Vidor; Hunter Hagler, Vidor; Daniel Wallace, Bridge City; Chase Angelle, Orangefield; Taylor Bonnin, WO-S; Forest Zoch, Bridge City; Justin Sparrow, WO-S; Taylor Turley, WO-S; Dallas Brown, LC-M
MAKING OF THE ALL-ORANGE COUNTY TEAM
Mark Dunn- For The Record
They came from tough baseball districts and ripped into the toughest platoff regions in Texas. The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears, Bridge City Cardinals and Orangefield Bobcats rose to the top of contenders to produce an Orange County three-team 2009 playoff season.
Taking the field in the cool winds of pre-season February and ending under the hot sun of late May, the Record ‘Hometown Highlights’ featured the great moments that made this season extraordinary and memorable. when it comes to highlights The Record newspapers and THERECORDLIVE offered plenty of them throughout the season. In support of our Orange County baseball programs we are honored to announce The Record 2009 All-Orange County Baseball Team.
The selections in no way minimizes the individual contributions of every Orange County baseball player that wore a uniform in 2009 regardless of class or stats. They all should be commended for their contributions to representing Orange County in an outstanding season of baseball.
Hailing from competitive Dist. 20-4A, Little Cypress-Mauriceville head baseball coach Steve Griffith made his seventh straight regional playoff appearance this season. The Bears ended their run in the Region III quarterfinals against Brenham after defeating Buda Hays in area and Crosby in bi-district playoff action.
For their contributions to the LC-M playoff season it is appropriate that shortstop Stefan Cloeren and pitchers Shane Waddell and Taylor Thompson suit up for the All-Orange County Baseball Team along with several Bear teammates.
Bear slugger Tim Barry is the 2009 All-Orange County Offensive Player of the Year. Barry’s record breaking season includes 55 hits with 10 HR’s and a career on base average of .600.
Bridge City Cardinal head baseball coach Chad Landry ended his first season 26-7-1 as he led Big Red to the Dist. 21-3A championship and far beyond. By mid-May the Cardinals were Ranked No. 3 in the state as Landry engineered a playoff strategy that carried Bridge City to the Region III semifinal round.
He’s a smart coach always looking and thinking ahead. For his success in an outstanding season, Bridge City Cardinal head baseball coach Chad Landry is the All-Orange County ‘Coach of the Year.’
“They never quite,” Landry said after a hard fought semifinal series with the Longview Spring Hill Panthers ended the season.
It’s worth remembering that the Cardinals strung out Game One through 10 innings with pitcher Matt Hicks going the distance on 140 pitches to lose 8-7. But the Cardinals mounted a stunning seventh inning come from behind victory in Game Two, 6-5. Caleb Kellogg pitched 6 2/3 innings and smacked the game winning hit. But the Panthers took Game Three ending the season for Big Red.
The Cardinals entered the playoffs in the area round against Cameron Yoe winning 13-3 in a one game winner-take-all to advance to face district rival Orangefield Bobcats in the quarterfinal round. The Cardinals and Bobcats slugged it out in a best-of-three quarterfinal series that went all three games to determine the Cardinals the winner.
The Cardinals are giving up 10 seniors but will be returning key cogs in the Big Red machine. All-Orange County MVP Matt Hicks, second baseman Joe Robertson, outfielder Luke Rhodes and playoff famous Kellogg will be back. They join several Cardinal teammates that include THBCA All-Star bound senior third baseman Blake Hubbard on the All-Orange County Team.
We concur with the Coaches Dist. 21-3A baseball team in naming Cardinal senior infielder Eric Matthews as All-Orange County ‘Defensive Player of the Year.’ Matthews deserves it after performing at either second or third base and has just one error to his record. He also hit .307 to go along with nearly flawless infield play. He’ll be missed in the Cardinal lineup next year.
Hicks is on everyone’s list as MVP and he was a synch to be our Most Valuable Player as well. The Cardinal junior is fiercely competitive with talent to match. He is dangerous on the mound with 126 stikeouts this season walking just 18 in 78 1/3 innings pitched and a 1.25 ERA. When he is not pitching he’s at short stop and anywhere the ball game takes him. He had a .372 batting average to lead the team and also had 35 runs with 20 RBI this season. During all that he also stole 22 bases.
Bridge City teammate, junior Caleb Kellogg, is certainly no newcomer to baseball but he became one in Orange County when he put on a Cardinal uniform this season. From there Kellogg became a triple threat for the Cardinals, complementing Hicks on the mound, chasing down fly balls in the outfield or coming up with clutch hits during the season and on into the playoffs. Cardinal mojo was working in Game Two of the semis when Kellogg ripped a pitch to center with bases loaded for a three run RBI double in the seventh inning. It captured a sudden 6-5 victory amidst pandemonium to force Game Three against Spring Hill. Kellogg accounted for 2 HR, 11 RBI, three doubles and a triple. He crossed home plate 10 times during his abbreviated season. He is the 2009 All-Orange County ‘Newcomer of the Year.’
Orangefield Bobcat head baseball coach Jeff Bennett is building a powerful baseball program at Cormier Field. It was evident in the caliber of baseball his team produced in the 2009 season. Bennett put a lot of young talent on the field to go 23-6-0 and entered the playoffs as the third place team from Dist. 21-3A and got better every game. The Bobcats scored 21 points to mercy rule Liberty in the first two games of the bi-district playoff series.
They came face to face with Bridge City in the quarterfinals, an event that last occurred in the 2005. The Bobcats tied the series 1-1 but in the end Bridge City would win it. It had been an exceptional season for Orangefield and their pride of Bobcat fans.
Bennett will be returning the whole team with the exception of senior pitcher Zach Peevey next season. The Bobcats will be returning 15 players from the roster that hit 17 home runs in 2009. Coming back will be Orangefield heavy hitters, catcher Jacob Felts who finished the season batting .471 and pitcher/outfielder Jace Statum at .462. The duo lead the district in hitting.
Statum could start on any team anywhere and be effective at any position. He has earned All-Orange County “Utility Player of the Year.” He is among the Bobcats you’ll find on the 2009 All-Orange County Team.
West Orange-Stark head baseball coach Jesse Riojas deserves a very honorable mention for what he is doing for the Mustang baseball program. Respected everywhere Coach Riojas put in play a good season in Dist 21-3A in the process of rebuilding the program. Several of his players are key to the All-Orange County team. Namely Clayton Gearhart at first base and pitcher Cody Hodge.
SEE THIS WEEK’S ISSUE OF ‘THE RECORD’