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2013 Baseball Preview: Players to Watch

Carthage senior pitcher JayDon Day trots off the field during Thursday’s practice at Jim Reeves Memorial Field in Carthage. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

 

Gunner Baker
Senior, P/INF, Carlisle

  • 2012: Baker hit .512 with three home runs, 47 RBIs, and 36 stolen bases for a Carlisle team that went 25-3 and reached the Class A state semifinals. Baker went 14-0 on the mound with a 0.24 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 84 innings. He has signed with Hill College.

 

Spencer Barton
Senior, IF, Longview

  • 2012: Barton hit .359 with 17 RBIs and 19 stolen bases and was named District 11-5A Defensive Most Valuable Player.

 

Quincy Clements
Senior, P/INF, Jefferson

  • 2012: Clements went 6-2 with a 1.89 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 58 innings for Jefferson, which finished 14-10. Clements, who will play at Hill College next year, held opponents to a .115 batting average.

 

JayDon Day
Senior, P, Carthage

  • 2012: Day had an 11-2 record, 2.29 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings for Carthage, which finished 28-5 with a second-round playoff appearance.

 

Eric DeJesus
Junior, SS/P, Diboll

  • 2012: DeJesus, who as his district’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore, hit .508 with 11 RBIs, 12 doubles, 24 runs scored, and 33 stolen bases. He had 23 walks to only three strikeouts in 88 plate appearances. On the mound, DeJesus went 1-2 with a 2.12 ERA, 45 strikeouts, and 19 walks in 36 1/3 innings for the Lumberjacks, who went 17-14 with a Class 3A Region III second-round playoff appearance.

 

Ronnie Gideon
Senior, INF/P, Hallsville

  • 2012: Gideon hit .374 with five home runs, 43 RBIs, two triples, and 11 doubles, while going 2-2 with a 4.04 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings on the mound for a 23-10 Hallsville squad. Gideon signed with Texas A&M in November, but could be drafted in the June amateur draft.

 

Chantz Holland
Senior, SS/P, Cayuga

  • 2012: Holland went 10-2 with an ERA lower than 2.00 to help Cayuga finish 27-4 with a Class A regional final appearance. Holland has signed with Vernon College.

 

Ben Hollas
Senior, OF/P, Spring Hill

  • 2012: Hollas hit .441 with 22 RBIs, 13 doubles, and 14 stolen bases and earned District 16-3A Co-Most Valuable Player honors for a Spring Hill team that finished 22-7-1 with a second-round playoff appearance. Hollas has signed with Hill College.

 

Mason Liu
Senior, OF, Pine Tree

  • 2012: Liu hit .330 with four home runs, 26 RBIs, 29 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases for the Pirates, who went 20-12-1 and reached the Class 4A Region II area round.

 

Patrick Mahomes
Junior, P/OF, Whitehouse

  • 2012: Mahomes, who hit around .400 with two home runs, led Whitehouse in wins (11-3 record) and strikeouts (more than 90), while finishing second on the team in ERA (2.30) behind fellow pitching standout Ryan Cheatham, who went 5-2 with a 2.15 ERA and more than 50 strikeouts. That duo combined with Michael Nuon to go 21-5 on the mound in leading the Wildcats to a 28-6 record and Class 4A Region II semifinal appearance. Mahomes — Whitehouse’s starting quarterback who has football offers from Texas Tech and Rice — has baseball offers from Arizona and Arkansas.

 

Dylan Moore
Junior, P, Hughes Springs

  • 2012: Moore went 14-2 with a 1.40 ERA, two saves, 92 strikeouts, and only 17 walks in 69 innings on the mound for the Mustangs, who finished 26-4 with a Class 2A Region III quarterfinal appearance.

Hunter Owens
Senior, P, White Oak

  • 2012: Owens led a 23-8 White Oak team with a 7-3 record, 2.88 ERA, and 90 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. He led the Roughnecks in wins and strikeouts, while Josh Benson’s 0.82 ERA was tops on the team, which reached the Class 2A Region III quarterfinals.

 

Levi Smith
Senior, C, Elkhart

  • 2012: Smith hit .398 with five home runs, 58 RBIs, and 16 doubles for a 36-5 Elkhart team that reached the Class 2A state semifinals. Smith signed with SFA in November.

 

Tyler Stubblefield
Senior, P, Lufkin

  • 2012: Stubblefield, a 6-foot-4 lefty who threw for more almost 3,600 yards with 39 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in the fall as Lufkin’s starting quarterback, went 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA and 86 strikeouts as a junior. He signed with Texas A&M in November.

 

Justin Twine
Junior, INF, Hemphill

  • 2012: Twine had a monster sophomore season, batting .567 with eight home runs, 45 RBIs, 10 triples, 11 doubles, and 15 stolen bases. On the mound, he went 2-3 with a 3.17 ERA, 43 strikeouts, and 28 walks in 35 1/3 innings. Twine, who is also a highly regarded football recruit, has committed to TCU for baseball.

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