By Kevin Askeland
Time to give some love to the “little guys” in high school baseball.
The MaxPreps small school baseball All-American team is designed to honor players that competed for teams with tiny enrollments, but came up huge on the diamond.
For the purposes of compiling this team, MaxPreps defines the following state divisions as small schools:
Alabama 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A; Arizona 2A, 1A; Arkansas 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A; California – Northern Section Div. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; North Coast Section Div. 1A, 1B; Sac-Joaquin Section Div. 5, 6, 7; Central Section Div. 4, 5; Southern Section Div. 6, 7; San Diego Section Div. 4; Colorado 3A, 2A, 1A; Connecticut M, S; Delaware Div. 2; Florida 2A, 1A; Georgia 2A, 1A; Idaho 3A, 2A, 1A; Illinois 2A, 1A; Indiana 2A, 1A; Iowa 2A, 1A, A; Kansas 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A; Kentucky 3A, 2A, 1A; Louisiana 3A, 2A, 1A, B, C; Maryland A; Massachusetts Div. 3; Maine B, C, D; Michigan Div. 4; Minnesota A; Mississippi 3A, 2A, 1A; Missouri Class 2, 1; Nebraska B; Nevada Class 2A, 1A; New Hampshire Class S; New Jersey Public Group 1; New Mexico 3A, 2A, 1A; New York B, C, D; North Carolina 1A; North Dakota B; Ohio Div. 3, 4; Oklahoma 3A, 2A, 1A, B; Oregon 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A; Pennsylvania 2A, 1A; Rhode Island Div. 2; South Carolina 2A, 1A; Tennessee 1A; Texas 2A, 1A; Utah 2A, 1A; Vermont Div. 2, 3, 4; Virginia A; Washington 1A, 2B, 1B; West Virginia 2A, 1A; Wisconsin Div. 3, 4
With that out of the way, we present the inaugural MaxPreps.com small schools baseball All-American team;
NATIONAL SMALL SCHOOLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tyler Stovall, Hokes Bluff (Ala.), Senior, Pitcher
Stovall holds a bundle of state records in Alabama after a pair of record-setting seasons that saw Hokes Bluff win its fifth and sixth straight state championships. Named the Alabama state player of the year, Stovall finished his career with a state record 54 wins including a record 18 as a junior and 14 in 2008 (14-1). He struck out 227 batters last year and has 683 strikeouts, both new state marks. He posted a 1.01 ERA and had 171 strikeouts in 91 innings in 2008 while walking just 21 batters. He was also proficient at the plate, batting .500 with seven home runs (34 in his career) and 33 RBI. He had 13 doubles and finished his career with a national record 95 according to the National Federation of State High School Associations’ record book. Blessed with a 94-mile-per-hour fastball and a 4.0 GPA, Stovall was the No. 64 pick overall in the Major League draft by the Atlanta Braves.
Robbie Ross, Lexington Christian, Lexington (Ky.), Senior, Pitcher
Ross posted a 5-2 record with a 1.51 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched for Lexington Christian. He was the first player chosen from Kentucky in the Major League baseball draft, going in the second round to the Texas Rangers. Ross was first team all-state and co-pitcher of the year on the Lexington All-Metro team.
Landon McCall, Grape Creek, San Angelo (Texas), Senior, Pitcher
McCall is a two-time All-West Texas player of the year after posting a 13-3 record with a 2.38 ERA. He struck out 91 batters in 94 innings and also starred at the plate with a .475 batting average that included 13 doubles and 39 RBI. He was a first-team Texas 2A all-state selection.
Kyle Webb, Providence, Jacksonville (Fla.), Junior, Pitcher
Webb pitched Providence to the Florida 2A state championship, tossing a one-hitter against North Florida Christian in the championship game. He posted a 10-1 record for the season with a 0.80 ERA. A third team All-First Coast player as a sophomore, Webb made the first team this year and was a first team member of the Florida 2A all-state team.
Daniel Webb, Heath, Paducah (Ky.), Senior, Pitcher
A two-time all-state pick, Webb was the Region 1 most valuable player and was a standout at the plate and on the mound, where is fastball sometimes reached as high as 97 miles per hour. Signed to play at University of Kentucky, Webb was chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 378th pick in the MLB draft.
Bobby Bundy, Sperry (Okla.), Senior, Pitcher
Winner of the Gatorade state player of the year for Oklahoma, Bundy led Sperry to the 3A state championship by posting a 9-1 record with a 0.80 ERA with 111 strikeouts in just 54 innings pitched. He is signed to play at Arkansas next year, but he was also the first player from Oklahoma chosen in the Major League baseball draft, going with the 236th pick to the Baltimore Orioles.
Alex Byo, Parkview Baptist, Baton Rouge (La.), Junior, Pitcher
Byo led Parkview Baptist to the Louisiana 3A state championship while posting a 9-1 record on the mound and a 1.58 ERA. He was named the state 3A player of the year. He was also the Baton Rouge small schools player of the year, batting .473 with eight home runs and 52 RBI.
Codie Rollins, Valley View, Jonesboro (Ark.), Senior, Pitcher
Rollins led Valley View to the 4A championship and posted a 14-0 record with a 1.12 ERA. He allowed just 12 walks on the season and struck out 115 batters. He was named the state tournament MVP and was the Jonesboro Sun player of the year.
Austin Maddox, Eagle’s View, Jacksonville (Fla.), Junior, Catcher
Maddox was Named to the Florida 1A all-state team and the Jacksonville area All-First Coast team after leading Eagle’s View to the state championship. Considered one of the top catching prospects in the country for 2009, Maddox racked up 68 RBI and batted .511 on the year.
Justin Schiller, Salado (Texas), Senior, Catcher
Schiller set school records for home runs (11) and RBI (56) while leading Salado to the Texas 2A state championship. He was named the tournament’s most valuable player after going 2-for-4 with three RBI in the final. He batted .433 on the season and scored 52 runs.
Matt Lott, Newark Catholic (Ohio), Senior, Catcher
A standout football player as well, Lott led Newark Catholic to the Division 4 regional finals and earned state MVP honors after batting .530 with three home runs, 28 RBI and 27 runs batted in.
Sam Moore, Valley Christian, Phoenix, (Ariz.), Senior, First Base
Moore was named the Arizona 2A player of the year after leading Valley Christian to the semifinals of the Arizona state 2A playoffs. He posted a 13-1 record on the mound and batted .537 with 10 home runs.
Jordan Stailey, Cobre, (N.M.), Senior, First Base
Stailey led Cobre to the New Mexico state 3A championship and led the state in several offensive categories, including batting average (51-79, .646), home runs (12), and RBI (62). He also had a 5-2 record on the mound with a 3.71 ERA and struck out a 3A best 68 batters. He was named the state’s 3A player of the year.
Josh Barber, Mountain Empire, Pine Valley (Calif.), Senior, First Base
Barber set several San Diego Section records this year including career RBI (187), career doubles (56) and consecutive games hitting streak (37). He holds a career batting average of .541 (176-325) including .604 his senior year (55-91). He also drove in 64 runs this year with 17 doubles and 10 home runs.
Clint Moseley, Leroy (Ala.), Junior, Infield
Moseley will attempt the double trifecta next year – leading Leroy to a third straight state championship in both football and baseball. A standout quarterback who threw for over 3,000 yards last year, Moseley is also one of the top baseball players in the state. He batted over .500 with close to 70 RBI and 12 home runs while also posting a 12-2 record. He was named the 2A state player of the year and was also named to the Super Team by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
Chris Owings, Gilbert (S.C.), Senior, Infield
Owings led Gilbert to the state championship in South Carolina and earned 2A state player of the year honors. He batted .520 with 30 RBI, hit 12 doubles and four home runs and stole 18 bases. He is a two-time all-state player for the Indians.
Brandon Wells, Silo (Okla.), Senior, Infield
Wells had an outstanding season while leading Silo to the Oklahoma state 3A championship. He batted .620 on the season, including 19 for 22 at the state tournament. He also drove in 58 home runs and belted 10 home runs to go with 16 stolen bases.
Tyson Workman, North Florida Christian, Tallahassee (Fla.), Senior, Infield
Workman earned co-MVP honors on the All-Big Bend team after leading North Florida Christian to the state 2A finals. He batted .432 with 12 home runs, 32 RBI, 34 runs scored and eight doubles.
Clay Cederquist, Fowler (Calif.), Junior, Infield
Cederquist earned state small school player of the year honors from Cal-Hi Sports and is a two-time all-state player. He batted .548 with 51 RBI, 16 doubles and eight home runs for the Redcats, who won the Central Section Division 5 championship and were ranked No. 1 in the Cal-Hi Sports division 5 rankings. He also earned a spot on the Fresno Bee’s all-area team.
Connor Winn, Wesleyan, Norcross (Ga.), Senior, Infield
Winn used quick hands and quick feet to dominate at the plate and in the field for Wesleyan, which won the Georgia 2A state championship. Winn ripped a school record 15 home runs and finished his career with 42. He also set school records for career runs scored with 161 and batted .495 this year in earning Gwinnett News player of the year honors.
Curtis Fisher, University Liggett, Grosse Pointe (Mich.), Junior, Outfield
A four-time all-state player, Fisher has made his mark on the school and state record book. He set school career records with 190 hits, 25 home runs, 217 RBI and a career batting average of .528. He also went 26-6 on the mound with a 1.49 ERA. His RBI mark is the second best in state history. For his senior season, Fisher batted .541 with 13 home runs, nine doubles and 62 RBI
Tyler Watts, Bishop Luers, Fort Wayne (Ind.), Senior, Outfield
Watts was the leading hitter for the state champion Knights, batting .589 (56-95) while scoring 54 runs and driving in 34. He also rapped 15 doubles and had 10 triples. Watts also played on Bishop Luers state championship football team.
Nick Jones, Woodridge, Peninsula (Ohio), Senior, Outfield
Jones earned Cleveland Plain Dealer player of the year honors for Summit and Portage counties after posting a .471 batting average with nine home runs and 22 total extra basehits. He also was 8-2 on the mound with 99 strikeouts and a 0.63 ERA in 55.1 innings pitched. Jones was named the state Division 3 player of the year.
Rodarrick Jones, St. John’s, Plaquemine (La.), Senior, Outfield
Selected with the 632nd pick in the Major League draft by the Houston Astros, Jones is a four-time all-state selection for St. John, batting .584 with eight home runs and 33 RBI. Jones also earned all-state honors in football.
Trey Haley, Central Heights, Nacogdoches (Texas), Senior, Outfield
Chosen in the second round of the Major League baseball draft by the Cleveland Indians, Haley was the Texas 2A state player of the year after excelling in the outfield and on the mound for Central Heights. He belted 12 home runs and also batted over .500 while possessing a 90 mile-per-hour fastball that allowed him to win nine games.
Randy Ziegler, Calvary Baptist, Shreveport (La.), Senior, Utility
Ziegler earned state player of the year honors for the second straight season after leading Calvary Baptist to its second state title in a row. He was the Shreveport area player of the year after batting .521 with 12 home runs and going 10-3 on the mound with 129 strikeouts. He’s headed to LSU on a scholarship.
B.J. Hermsen, West Delaware, Manchester (Iowa), Senior, Utility
Hermsen’s selection poses a dilemma since his season at West Delaware isn’t technically complete. Iowa plays baseball in the summer and the state finals aren’t complete until the end of July. However Hermsen belted 18 home runs last summer and is on a torrid pace again this year with 11 while leading West Delaware to the state’s No. 1 ranking with a 28-2 record as of July 1. A standout pitcher, the 6-foot-6 Hermsen has also thrown two no-hitters this year. Chosen in the sixth round of the MLB draft by the Twins, Hermsen has signed a scholarship to play at Oregon State.
David Hawes, Mariposa (Calif.), Senior, Utility
Hawes led his team to a Sac-Joaquin Section Div. 6 championship by going 12-2 on the season with a 1.71 ERA. He won 28 games in his career and batted .425 with 30 RBI his senior year. He is headedto Fresno Pacific University on a scholarship.
Hunter Collins, Berry (Ala.), Senior, Utility
Collins set an Alabama state record for batting average in a season with a .726 mark that included 61 basehits in 84 at-bats. He also was the national co-leader with 19 home runs and had 73 RBI. Collins also went 8-3 on the mound with a 1.01 ERA. He was named the Alabama 1A state player of the year.
Tanner Bryant, Landmark Christian, Fairburn (Ga.), Junior, Utility
Bryant helped lead Landmark to the state 1A championship game by batting .485 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI. He also went 8-2 on the mound and earned CityLife player of the year honors by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Josh Fisher, Santa Fe, Alma (Mo.).
The Chiefs (20-0) became just the second Missouri team in 11 years to finish the year unbeaten and only the 10th since 1950 to end their season with a perfect record after beating Stoutland 12-7 in the Class 1 championship game. Along the way, coach Josh Fisher’s team knocked off the defending state champion, New Haven, with a 7-4 win in the semifinals. They also pulled out a dramatic come-from-behind win over Archie in the quarterfinals. In the district tournament, Santa Fe won all three of its games by shutout. Fisher is in his third year at Santa Fe and this is the first state baseball championship in school history.