Ellison's Preston Mills bats against Troy during the KISD Classic on Saturday at Killeen High. The Eagles beat Troy 13-7.

Ellison’s baseball team returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2010 this season, and for District 12-6A coaches, the reason why is clear.

After placing fourth in the final district standings, the Eagles (19-17, 10-6) received a pair of superlatives and placed four players on the first team.

Ellison senior Preston Mills capped off his high school career by being named Offensive MVP, while freshman teammate Joseph Marin was crowned co-newcomer of the year with Killeen freshman Carlos Ramon.

The Eagles’ senior trio of Edward Eakin (first baseman), Brian Gardner (third baseman) and Tye Hill (outfielder) each landed on the first team along with Ellison sophomore catcher Julian Vascot.

Belton senior Dylan Blomquist was named district most valuable player, while the Waco Midway duo of Jackson Berry (Most Valuable Pitcher) and Tripp Clark (Defensive MVP) captured the remaining superlatives.

Copperas Cove (18-13-1, 11-5) placed five players on the first team, matching the district champion Panthers.

Josh Ropple, a senior, and junior Chris Lingo each landed on the list as a pitcher, while senior second baseman Colby Jost, senior outfielder Michael Goudeau and freshman utility player Travis Sanders rounded out the Bulldawgs’ selections.

Junior pitcher Chase King and senior outfielder Preston Rozner accounted for the Tigers’ two first-team players, and senior outfield Josh Ratcliffe was Harker Heights’ lone selection.

Additionally, the Knights (12-14-1, 6-10) placed senior pitcher Spencer Young, senior catcher Jackson Rinehart and junior first baseman Chan Rinehart on the second team.

District runner-up Belton (25-7-1, 14-2) also had three players land on the second team. Jace Stephen, a junior, made the list as a pitcher, while seniors Connor Carothers and Chase Fentress were selected as a second baseman and shortstop, respectively.

A pair of Copperas Cove outfielders were represented on the second team with sophomore Rusty Cochran and senior Nick Izquierdo making the list.

Alnaldo Lonzo, a pitcher, and first baseman Jackson Taylor made appearances on the second team for Killeen (8-21, 4-12), and junior outfielder Benjamin Hamilton was the lone selection for Shoemaker (0-23, 0-16).

Along with the program’s other accomplishments, Ellison senior Alex Oquendo made the second team as an outfielder.


  • District MVP—Dylan Blomquist, sr., Belton.
  • Most Valuable Pitcher—Jackson Berry, jr., Midway.
  • Offensive MVP—Preston Mills, sr., Ellison.
  • Defensive MVP—Tripp Clark, sr., Midway.
  • Co-Newcomers of the Year—Joseph Marin, fr., Ellison; Carlos Ramon, fr., Killeen.


  • Pitchers—Josh Ropple, sr., Copperas Cove; Chris Lingo, jr., Copperas Cove; Chase King, jr., Belton; Corey Goynes, sr., Temple; Mason Ling, sr., Midway.
  • Catcher—Julian Vascot, so., Ellison.
  • 1st base—Edward Eakin, sr., Ellison.
  • 2nd base—Colby Jost, sr., Copperas Cove.
  • Shortstop—Couper Cornblum, sr., Midway.
  • 3rd base—Brian Gardner, sr., Ellison.
  • Outfielders—Michael Goodeau, sr., Copperas Cove; Tye Hill, sr., Ellison; Preston Rozner, sr., Belton; Josh Ratcliffe, sr., Harker Heights; Elijah Rodriguez, jr., Midway; Joseph Redfield, jr., Midway.
  • Designated hitter—Nolan Rodriguez, sr., Midway.
  • Utility—Travis Sanders, fr., Copperas Cove.


  • Pitchers—Jace Stephen, jr., Belton; Travis Beauchamp, sr., Waco; Alnaldo Lonzo, sr., Killeen; Aaron Wagaman, so., Temple; Spencer Young, sr., Harker Heights; Logan Pace, jr., Midway.
  • Catcher—Jackson Rinehart, sr., Harker Heights.
  • 1st base—Jackson Taylor, sr., Killeen; Chan Rinehart, jr., Harker Heights.
  • 2nd base—Connor Carothers, sr., Belton.
  • Shortstop—Chase Fentress, sr., Belton.
  • 3rd base—Adrian Carlos, sr., Temple.
  • Outfielders—Rusty Cochran, so., Copperas Cove; Nick Izquierdo, sr., Copperas Cove; Benjamin Hamilton, jr., Shoemaker; Alex Oquendo, sr., Ellison; Sam Barron, sr., Waco; Riley McNeill, sr., Temple; Will Nixon, jr., Midway.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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