St. Al puts four players on All-District 3-4A baseball team

Published 2:06 pm Wednesday, May 5, 2021

St. Aloysius’ baseball season ended a bit sooner than it would have liked, but the Flashes still held their own and garnered some respect in a tough district.

Four St. Al players — outfielder Wes Warnock, infielder Conner Paxton, and pitchers Tristan Wilbanks and Brandon Steed — were named to the MAIS All-District 3-4A team in voting by the league’s coaches.

Warnock and Paxton were first-team selections, while Wilbanks and Steed made the second team.

Conner Paxton

Warnock led St. Al and Warren County with a .494 batting average. Eleven of his 40 hits were for extra bases, including two home runs. He drove in 21 runs and scored a team-high 36, and hit safely in 22 of the Flashes’ 27 games. He finished the season on a 20-game hitting streak.

Paxton batted .333, with 22 RBIs and 18 runs scored.

Steed hit .325, with two home runs, five doubles and 23 RBIs. He also had a 3-1 record as a pitcher, and struck out 23 batters in 20 1/3 innings.

Wilbanks was one of St. Al’s top hitters and pitchers. He batted .362, hit eight doubles and drove in 23 runs. On the mound, he pitched a team-high 38 2/3 innings and 11 appearances, had 66 strikeouts and a 3.08 ERA. He finished with a 4-5 record.

St. Al bowed out in the first round of the MAIS Class 4A playoffs, in a two-game sweep at the hands of Brookhaven Academy. It finished with a 16-11 record.

Brandon Steed

Three of the four teams in District 3-4A won their first-round playoff series, and two — Hartfield Academy and Simpson Academy — are playing this week for the South State championship.

Hartfield has won 33 games in a row and won the district title. Its coach Chuck Box was named the District 3-4A Coach of the Year and pitcher/first baseman Lincoln Sheffield was the district’s Player of the Year.

The rest of the All-District 3-4A first team included Hartfield’s Colton Bradley, Josh Neuville, Bran Boyd, Logan Files, Alex McGarrh and Brody Walker; Simpson Academy’s Brentley Berry, Warner Watkins and Andrew Smith; and Central Hinds infielder Hagan Coumbe.

Coumbe hit .333 this season, with eight doubles, 42 RBIs and 21 runs scored. He also had a 2-0 record and 14 strikeouts in six starts as a pitcher.

Tristan Wilbanks

Central Hinds’ Ranson Oakes and Graham Thomas were second-team All-District selections. Thomas led the Cougars with a .337 batting average, scored 35 runs and had a team-high 18 stolen bases. Oakes hit .324, scored 36 runs and stole 17 bases.