Honors all around: 2020 All-County baseball team released

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

With two teams ranked No. 1 through the first few weeks, six total teams inside their respective top 10 and two additional nominated for a spot in the top 10, the 2020 baseball season was shaping up to be a historic one, but it’s one that will leave us with an empty feeling.

Following state championship appearances from Briarwood and Chelsea last year, this year seemed primed for more teams to make runs at a title, but COVID-19 had other plans when it canceled the remainder of the season on Saturday, April 14, for all county and state teams

With Chelsea and Shelby County left ranked No. 1, Spain Park No. 4, Briarwood No. 6, Montevallo No. 8, Oak mountain No. 10 and both Calera and Thompson nominated for a spot, the season had plenty of promise.

Despite the novel coronavirus preventing the remainder of the season, several athletes deserve to be recognized with an All-County team, which includes all seniors from across the county as well after their final season ended early. 

First Team

Pitcher: Connor Ball, junior, Chelsea. The top pitcher on the No. 1 team, Ball was off to a 4-1 start with 49 strikeouts in 28.2 innings pitched as well as a 2.19 ERA.

Pitcher: Josh Mims, senior, Montevallo. Off to a 2-1 start, Mims totaled an impressive 36 strikeouts in just 20 inings pitched. He had an ERA or 1.4. At the plate, he hit .514 with four home runs and 16 RBIs. He was also a perfect 10-for-10 on stolen bases.

Pitcher: Reid Gongwer, sophomore, Chelsea. A young player, Gongwer was off to a strong 4-0 start with a 0.58 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. 

Pitcher: Austin Harris, senior, Shelby County. An All-County member last year, Harris was 6-0 for the No. 1 Wildcats this season with a 0.29 ERA. In 24 innings pitched he totaled 36 strikeouts. 

Catcher: Tyler Waugh, junior, Briarwood. Waugh was having a breakout season with a .394 batting average behind nine singles, two doubles, a triple and a home run. He also drove home 13 runs. 

First Base: Cole Sester, senior, Oak Mountain. With a .439 batting average that included four doubles and 11 RBIs, Sester was set for a big season. He also had a 2-1 record on the mound with 14 strikeouts in just 12.1 innings pitched.

Second Base: Mitchell Pierce, junior, Oak Mountain. In 13 games, Pierce totaled an average of .389 at the plate with 12 runs scored and nine RBIs. 

Shortstop: Carter Sidor, senior, Spain Park. With a batting average of .463, including 20 singles and five doubles, Sidor totaled 15 RBIs and 13 runs scored and also walked 11 times for the No. 4 Jags. 

Third Base: Cody Posey, junior, Montevallo. On the mound, Posey was 1-0 with a save and boasted a 0.70 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 10 innings. He also had a .394 batting average with 12 runs scored, 10 RBIs and eight walks.

Outfield: Carter Frederick, senior, Chelsea. One of the best players in the state last year and the Hitter of the Year in the county, Frederick had a .351 average with five doubles, one home run and 13 RBIs early this year. He was also 2-1 on the mound with 37 strikeouts and a 1.09 ERA in 19.1 innings pitched. 

Outfield: Colton Ledbetter, senior, Spain Park. One of last year’s best hitters, Ledbetter held a .414 average early this year and already had four home runs. He also had 17 singles and three doubles, while driving in 14 runs and scoring 18.

Outfield: Greg Oliver, senior, Shelby County. The best hitter on the No. 1 5A team, Oliver was batting .500 through 16 games with 20 hits, nine RBIs, 16 runs scored and an impressive 18 stolen bases.

Utility: Jaxon Butterworth, senior, Calera. A four-year starter, Butterworth was having his best season both pitching and batting. He held a .425 average with four doubles and a triple at the plate, which led to 11 RBIs. He also never struck out this season. On the mound, he held an ERA of 1.00 in 21 innings with 24 strikeouts.

Designated Hitter: Connor Aderholt, sophomore, Shelby County. On the mound, he held a 2-0 record with 28 strikeouts and a 0.96 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched. At the plate, he posted an average of .381 with 16 hits, 21 RBIs and 14 runs.

Designated Hitter: Jackson Webster, junior, Chelsea. Webster was off to an impressive start with a batting average of .436 behind seven doubles, while adding 10 RBIs.

Second Team 

Pitcher: Eli Mefford, senior, Spain Park. With five starts and six appearances, Mefford was on pace for a major breakout senior season. He finished 4-1 with a 0.94 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 22.1 innings pitched.

Pitcher: Carson Hobbs, senior, Thompson. Part of a loaded and consistent Thompson team this year, Hobbs held a batting average of .375 with 19 RBIs, 16 runs scored and seven stolen bases. He also went 3-1 on the mound with a 1.75 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched.

Pitcher: Carson McKinney, junior, Briarwood. One of last year’s best pitchers, McKinney was back at it again this year with 24 strikeouts in 19.2 innings pitched. He finished 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA.

Pitcher: Jake Rivers, senior, Oak Mountain. He didn’t get to put as big of a stamp on the season as he could have, but Rivers was 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched.

Catcher: Mason Blankenship, senior, Calera. Blankenship hit four home runs early in the season and held a batting average of .393 with 14 RBIs and 14 walks.

First Base: Grant Cordes, senior, Montevallo. Cordes held a strong average of .471 at the plate with six doubles, two home runs and triple. He added 14 runs and was 6-for-6 on stolen bases. He was also 3-0 on the mound with a 2.8 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 10 innings.

Second Base: Malik Inabinette, senior, Montevallo. With a .333 average behind a double a triple and a home run, Inabinette drove home 11 runs and scored 14 himself, while sliding in safely on all seven of his stolen base attempts.

Shortstop: Brody Moss, junior, Helena. An Auburn commit, Moss held a batting average of .361 in his first 12 games, while adding three RBIs and 11 walks.

Third Base: Davis Gillespie, sophomore, Oak Mountain. Gillespie posted a batting average of .372 with 11 RBIs thanks to three doubles and one home run. He also went 2-0 on the mound with a 1.61 ERA and 15 strikeouts in just 13 innings.

Outfield: Matthew Windham, sophomore, Calera. Picking up a hit in 16 of his 32 at bats, Windham batted .500 in the shortened season with four doubles.

Outfield: J.P. Fox, junior, Shelby County. With a batting average of .357 behind 15 hits, Fox posted five doubles, one triple, 16 run scored and 12 RBIs this season. He also went 1-1 on the mound with three saves. In 19.2 innings pitched, he struck out 27 and had an ERA of 1.78. 

Outfield: Parker Campbell, senior, Oak Mountain. A strong defensive center fielder, Campbell also batted .387 at the plate with three doubles and five RBIs. 

Utility: Harrison Poplin, senior, Thompson. On the mound, Poplin tossed 27.2 innings and struck out 26 batters, while holding an impressive 0.25 ERA. He also batted .217 at the plate with 13 RBIs.

Designated Hitter: J.T. Pennington, junior, Shelby County. Pennington batted .391 this season behind 18 hits, including nine doubles. He also posted 11 RBIs and 11 runs scored.

Honorable mention: Mac Turner, Helena. Will Griffith, Helena. Riley Marks, Helena. J.C. Wilburn, Helena. Luke Stamba, Helena. Baxley Shores, Montevallo. Blaine Carstensen, Montevallo. Wesley Burdett, Montevallo. Christian Pritchett, Pelham. J.D. Wilkins, Pelham. Cody Ferguson, Pelham. Chase Christian, Pelham. Wyatt Miskelly, Shelby County. Linden Samaha, Spain Park, Jaxson Lucas, Spain Park. Josh Mehmen, Thompson. Cade Watts, Thompson. Logan Braunschweig, Thompson. Saxon Kliner, Thompson. Trey Puckett, Thompson. Zack Carlisle, Vincent. Eyan Davis, Vincent. Stephen Davis, Vincent.

Congrats seniors 2020 for being leaders we can all look up to: Graham Blankenship, Calera. Alijah Franklin, Calera. Dylan Killingsworth, Calera. J.T. McGregor, Chelsea. Matt McGregor, Chelsea. Brady Morgan, Chelsea. Jacob Boyle, Chelsea. Joel Sams, Chelsea. Austin Frye, Chelsea. Garrett Frye, Chelsea. Hunter Anderson, Chelsea. Thomas Root, Chelsea. Jordan Smith, Chelsea. Andrew Fortson, Helena. Kellen Watkins, Helena. Leon Moore, Helena. Logan Dramer, Helena. Eli Fizer, Oak Mountain. Grant Sutton, Oak Mountain. Sullian Tipton, Oak Mountain. Philip Duke, Pelham. Jack Fox, Pelham. Nate Rottier, Pelham. Tyler Zuiderhoek, Pelham. Chase Holliman, Shelby County. Ethan Carter, Shelby County. Tre Aderholt, Shelby County. Alex Bailey, Shelby County. Jack Poist, Spain Park. Adam Wygle, Spain Park. Ashton Cobb, Spain Park. Chris Mancill, Spain Park. Austin Gothard, Spain Park. Ethan Smallwood, Spain Park. Matthew Robbins, Spain Park. Josh Roberts, Thompson. Zach Townsend, Thompson. John David Winton, Thompson. Trent Hayes, Vincent. Jamichael King, Vincent.