6 Athletes Named To All-State Team

6 Athletes Named To All-State Team

by Steve Gamel

Twelve Denton County baseball players, including two from Guyer High School, were named to the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state teams early last month.

Senior outfielder Nick Klein was a second-team all-state selection in Class 6A for the Wildcats and was joined by sophomore catcher Luke Piper, who made the third team. Meanwhile, four spots on this year’s THSBCA first-team went to Class 4A state champion Argyle, which was represented by Bryson Hudgens, Preston King, Brenden Dixon, and Hayden Clearman. The other two selections were Jan Cabrera and Joseph Frisby from Class 5A Denton High School.

In TAPPS, the state champion Liberty Christian Warriors had four players make the TAPPS all-state team. They were led by Joe Wolf, recent Boston Red Sox draft pick Kason Howell, Dawson Barr, and Corey McMann. Wolf and Howell were both first-team selections. Barr and McMann represented the Warriors on the second team.

This season didn’t end the way Guyer would have wanted as the Wildcats barely missed the playoffs. But it was a banner year for Klein and Piper. Klein finished with a team-high .418 batting average and added 10 RBIs. Not to be outdone, Piper followed up a strong freshman campaign in 2017 with a sophomore year in which he batted .409 with 18 RBIs.

Speaking of banner seasons, no one had a better year than Argyle, which finished 37-0. Hudgens finished with a perfect 12-0 record on the mound for the Eagles while adding a 1.06 ERA. He also hit .417 with 43 RBIs. King led the Eagles with a .462 batting average, and Clearman finished at .455 with a team-high 44 RBIs. Dixon, the Eagles’ leadoff man, batted .455.

With its perfect record, Argyle became just the fourth UIL baseball team to finish a season undefeated. The last time it happened was in 2003 when Lorena went through an entire season unscathed. Argyle’s season of dominance included 20 wins by 10 runs or more. Several of those regular-season wins came against teams in higher classifications.

It was Argyle’s second state title since 2015 and its third trip to the state tournament in the last five seasons.

As for Liberty Christian, no one was more clutch for that team than Howell, who led the Warriors with a .462 batting average, 39 RBIs, and a 1.000 fielding percentage. Howell signed with Auburn before the season but was drafted by the Red Sox last month and has a big decision to make.

Barr, a TCU signee, went 12-1 on the mound for Liberty Christian while Wolf, also a standout pitcher, was 8-1 with a 3.01 ERA. McMann hit .383 with four home runs.

Liberty Christian won its fourth state championship, and first since 2013, in May. The Warriors (29-12-1) previously won state titles in 2003, 2009, and 2013. Liberty ended its season having won 13 of its final 14 games.

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