Last season, Seth Martin was overlooked. This year, he refused to let history repeat itself.
After being labeled an honorable mention as a junior, Gatesville’s shortstop made sure his presence was felt during his final season, guiding the Hornets back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Martin led Gatesville in hits (35), runs (29) and batting average (.354), while delivering a .897 fielding percentage and, in addition to experiencing the postseason, his performances garnered the attention of opposing coaches, earning him a spot on the recently released 8-3A All-District First Team.
With Liberty Hill and Llano players winning four superlatives and accounting for 11 of the 15 first-team selections, Martin was the Hornets’ lone representative to make the list, but two teammates were placed on the second team.
Junior pitcher Mitchell Chartier was recognized for the first time, while senior Wyatt Crum completed his career by making the all-district list for a second consecutive season. A first-team selection in 2013, Crum followed up the showing by posting 23 hits, leading the Hornets in triples (4), home runs (3) and RBIs (27). He also scored 22 runs.
Chartier was Gatesville’s primary pitcher, finishing the season with a 4-4 record, striking out 56 batters over 60.2 innings of work. Offensively, he scored 16 runs on 21 hits, including a team-high seven doubles, and posted 13 RBIs.
A pair of Lampasas players joined the Hornets on the second team. Badgers junior Laine Wiggins was placed on the squad as an outfielder, while senior Ralph Marez was recognized as a utility player.
The two were integral to the Badgers’ success this year as they came one victory away from reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2006. In the regular season finale against Gatesville, the pair shined.
With a postseason trip on the line, Wiggins led Lampasas offensively, going 2 for 3 with an RBI, while Marez recorded a single and a run, but it was not enough as Gatesville won 4-3, helping the Hornets end their own playoff drought.
Liberty Hill dominated the superlative honors, receiving a share of three of the four awards. Panthers senior Colby Schmidt and Llano’s Isaac Hutto were named co-MVPs, and Liberty Hill teammates Slater Foust, a sophomore, and Travis Gipson, a senior, were named offensive MVP and newcomer of the year, respectively.
The defensive MVP award was also split with Brownwood’s Seth Owen and Burnet’s Josh Thompson sharing the title. Several area players also received honorable mentions, including the Gatesville duo of third baseman Jeff Speer and catcher Chris George. For Lampasas, battery mates Ryan Baxter – Lampasas’ primary pitcher – and Cutter Estep were honorable mentions.
8-3A All-District team
Co-MVPs: Colby Schmidt, Liberty Hill, Sr. & Isaac Hutto, Llano, Sr.
Offensive MVP: Slater Foust, Liberty Hill, So.
Co-Defensive MVPs: Seth Owen, Brownwood, Sr. & Josh Thompson, Burnet, Sr.
Newcomer of the Year: Travis Gipson, Liberty Hill, Sr.
Pitcher: Seth Owens, Brownwood, Sr.; Isaac Hutto, Llano, Sr.; Marshall Brown, Liberty Hill, Jr.
Catcher: Kyler Tarter, Llano, Jr.; Colby Schmidt, Liberty Hill, Sr.
1st Base: Eli Tiffin, Llano, Sr.
2nd Base: Colton Barksdale, Burnet, So.
Shortstop: Seth Martin, Gatesville, Sr.
3rd Base: Slater Foust, Liberty Hill, So.
Outfield: Jeremy Ayers, Burnet, Sr.; Taylor Sorensen, Llano, Sr.; Chance Ware, Llano, Sr.; Jake Stalder, Liberty Hill, Sr.
Designated Hitter: Garrett Wright, Liberty Hill, Fr.
Utility: Cody Remore, Liberty Hill, Sr.
Pitcher: Shea Edmonds, Burnet, Sr.; Mitchell Chartier, Gatesville, Jr.; Kannon Prior, Liberty Hill, Sr.
Catcher: Josh Thompson, Burnet, Sr.
1st Base: Mason Baty, Liberty Hill, Sr.
2nd Base: Tommy Yelvington, Llano, Jr.
Shortstop: Holden Simpson, Llano, Jr.
3rd Base: Taylor Barksdale, Burnet, Jr.; Logan Bauer, Llano, Jr.
Outfield: Wyatt Crum, Gatesville Sr.; Joel Johnson, Burnet, So.; Laine Wiggins, Lampasas, Jr.; Tristan Heidleberg, Liberty Hill, Sr.
Designated Hitter: Garrett Cox, Burnet, Jr.
Utility: Ralph Marez, Lampasas, Sr.