PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Hunter Spear, Sr., Cooper
What a difference a year makes. Spear was a part-time player as a junior, but after dedicating himself to a stringent offseason training plan, the third baseman hit .444 with seven home runs and 52 RBIs. He often came up big in key moments, hitting go-ahead homers late in games against Levelland and Estacado during district play.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Nolan Savage, Sr., Cooper
As the Pirates’ No. 1 starter, Savage went 9-2 with a 2.06 ERA. He compiled a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, punching out 103 batters in 68 innings. His top performance was a complete-game two-hitter in district play against Levelland. Savage will attend Western Texas College next season.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Terry Baxter, Cooper
The veteran coach guided the Pirates to a perfect 10-0 record in District 2-3A. That feat proved to be even more impressive when three teams from the district — Cooper, Levelland, Estacado — advanced to the regional quarterfinals. Cooper ended its season with 30 wins and advanced to the regional semifinals, where it suffered a heartbreaking one-run, extra-inning loss to eventual state-runner up West.
Taylor Bridges, Jr., Coronado
Bridges built on a strong finish to his sophomore season, leading Coronado with a 9-2 record and a 2.39 ERA. The left-hander used an improved repertoire of pitches to strike out 88 hitters over 671/3 innings. He also recorded a pair of saves, proving an ability to pitch in any situation for the district-champion Mustangs.
Stephen Smith, Jr., Frenship
Injuries kept Smith off the mound for the first few weeks of the season, but he was lights out in his return, compiling a 2.27 ERA with a 1.46 WHIP in 37 innings. Smith was also the Tigers’ leader at the plate. He hit .459 with five home runs and 26 RBIs with a sky-high OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.501.
PITCHER Scotland Church, Jr., Cooper
Part of Cooper’s two-headed pitching monster, Church surrendered only seven earned runs in 54 innings of work (0.91 ERA). His earned-run average was the ninth-lowest in the state among Class 3A pitchers this season, according to 3Abaseball.com. Church also hit .445 with five home runs and 32 RBIs.
Ryan Moseley, Jr., Cooper
In addition to stellar defense behind the plate, Moseley was a big contributor offensively for the 30-win Pirates. He hit a team-high .457 with a home run and 20 RBIs. Moseley reached base at a .519 clip and stole five bases. Moseley was a first-team all-state selection by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Victor Gomez, Sr., Estacado
Gomez was the heart and soul of an Estacado team that bounced back from a no-playoff season in 2011 to reach the regional quarterfinal in ’12. He hit .366 with 11 doubles, three home runs and 25 RBIs. For his efforts, Gomez was named a second-team all-state player by the THSBCA. He will play at Eastern New Mexico next season.
Austin Builtron, Sr. Estacado
Builtron set the table as the Matadors’ leadoff hitter, compiling a .308 average with 23 runs scored. When he wasn’t manning first base, the lefty was one of Estacado’s most effective pitchers. After battling back from a torn labrum, he went 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA, striking out 55 against 10 walks.
Matthew Flores, Jr. Estacado
Flores often came up big in clutch situations for Estacado, which finished second in District 2-3A behind undefeated Cooper. Flores hit .431, with 18 of his 56 hits going for extra bases. The senior registered a 1.080 OPS and was also one of the team’s best pitchers, compiling a 2.77 ERA in 53 innings.
Paxton De La Garza, Sr., Coronado
On defense, De La Garza stood out with a strong arm that was often able to make throws from all angles. At the plate he hit for average (.417) and power (nine home runs), with 19 of his 53 hits going for extra bases. De La Garza was an all-state selection each of the last two years. He will continue to the next level at Weatherford College next season.
Tyler Thorne, Jr., Coronado
Thorne’s .455 batting average was a team-high for Coronado, which won the District 2-5A title and marched to the regional quarterfinals. The junior had a knack for getting on base and compiled a 1.091 OPS. The right-hander, who has verbally committed to play college baseball at Stanford, was also part of an improved pitching rotation for the Mustangs. He recorded a 2.87 ERA in 461/3 innings of work.
Henderson was a jack-of-all-trades for the Plainsmen this season, helping the team recover from a slow start to finish second in District 2-5A. As a leadoff hitter, he hit .322 with an on-base percentage of .427. He also compiled a 2.73 ERA in 45 innings of work on the mound. Henderson will play baseball at Sul Ross State next season.
Adam Taylor, Sr., Cooper
Taylor combined with Hunter Spear to create a formidable middle-of-the-order attack for the Pirates. Taylor hit .416 with 10 doubles, four home runs and 27 RBIs. He will play baseball and football at Wayland Baptist next season.
Schovanec, Sr., Lubbock High
The first-team all-district outfielder hit a solid .341, but his best work came during district play, when Schovanec raised his performance with a .391 average, with four doubles, three triples and 20 RBIs. He will play football at Carroll University.
Quentin Johnson, Jr., Estacado
Primarily a shortstop, Johnson also filled in at second base for Estacado. No matter where he played in the field, though, Johnson produced at the plate. He hit .496 with four home runs, 43 RBIs and a 1.267 OPS. Johnson, an all-state selection, demonstrated dangerous speed with eight triples and 17 stolen bases.
Tyler Sturdivant, Jr., Shallowater
The pitcher/shortstop was an extra-base hitting machine for the Mustangs. He hit .494 with more than half of his 43 hits going for extra bases — 18 doubles, four triples and one home run. On the mound he compiled a 3.21 ERA, racking up 105 strikeouts in 672/3 innings.
Corie Ramirez, Sr., New Deal
The District 4-1A most valuable player hit .405 and scored 28 runs while helping lead the Lions to the regional quarterfinals. He was also stellar on the mound, posting a 1.55 ERA over 52 1/3 innings. He struck out 83 batters and walked just 13.
Pitchers: Kyle Rutherford, Sr., Frenship; Will Breedlove, Sr., Coronado; Jonathan Garcia, Jr., Estacado
First Base: Zach Hobbs, Sr., Shallowater
Second Base: Ryan Chumley, Sr., Roosevelt
Shortstop: Ricky Contreras, So., LCHS
Third Base: Ralph Molina, Sr., Lubbock High
Outfielders: Stephen Jo Garcia, Sr., Estacado; Tyler Pridmore, Sr., Monterey; Tyler Parr, So., Cooper
Catchers: Colson Craddick, Sr., Monterey; Bryndan Arredondo, Jr., Frenship
Utility: James Hardberger, So., LCHS; Andrew Flores, Sr., New Deal; Kale Wilsford, Soph., Trinity Christian