Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Casey Brockman ... All-American?

Checking out today's USA Today and its All-American baseball team produced a shock — Calloway County's Casey Brockman, named the First Region player of the year by area coaches and a first-team all-state selection, was named to the newspaper's second-team All-American squad.

Amazing, since Brockman hails from rural far western Kentucky and has exactly no Division I baseball offers, although nearby Tennessee-Martin has expressed some interest.

Brockman, who hit .564 with 21 extra-base hits in 91 at-bats for the Lakers, this spring, has been committed to join Murray State's football program as a walk-on quarterback, but things could change very quickly.

Don't be surprised if Brockman suddenly gets some Division I baseball interest — and decides to make a late change of heart in what sport he pursues at the college level.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mid-America results ...

Christian County nipped Paducah Tilghman in Thursday night's championship game of the Mid-America Summer Hoops Classic at Murray State University's Regional Special Events Center.

Tilghman had advanced to the finals by beating Belleville (Ill.) Althoff, which is expected to be one of the top teams in the St. Louis area next season. Christian walloped Charleston (Mo.) in the semifinals, not long after Charleston had eliminated Massac County in the quarterfinals.

Graves County, which was one of the top half-dozen teams in the event, opted not to compete in the tournament.

All-state baseball honorees ...

Calloway County's Casey Brockman was named to the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association's all-state first team, the only First Region player honored as such.

Marshall County's Cody Forsythe and Tyler Johnson were second-team selections, as was Will Stagner of Trigg County. Lone Oak's Allen Haase was an honorable mention pick.

It's been quite a year for Brockman, who also received some all-state attention as the quarterback for the Lakers' football team that reached the Class 4A state semifinals. As it turns out, he has swung his bat competitively for the last time — he will play football at Murray State.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mid-America entries ...

It should be a pretty good collection of talent on hand for the Mid-America Summer Hoops Classic at Murray State University's Regional Special Events Center, which begins Tuesday and continues through Thursday.

Paducah Tilghman, Graves County and Christian County were among the top teams at Murray State's team camp earlier this month. Christian should be a top-10 team in Kentucky next season and has several players drawing Division I interest — guard Shaquille Wilson seems ticketed for Missouri State and a pair of juniors, guard Anthony Hickey and wing Donovan Kates, are getting plenty of attention.

Murray has interest in Hickey and another junior point guard, Tilghman's Josh Forrest.

Belleville Althoff and East St. Louis figure to be one of southern Illinois' best teams, Carbondale always fields a solid club and Massac County returns three starters from last season's Class 2A state runner-up squad.

Union City again will be one of the top teams in northwest Tennessee, as will Henry County, which was 22-7 last year.

Helias, the Catholic school in Jefferson City, Mo., finished in third place in the Class 4 state tournament. Charleston is a perennial power in southeast Missouri and reached the Class 3 quarterfinals, giving the eventual state champion their toughest game of the postseason.

The girls' side features all of the First Region contenders, except for Calloway County. Christian County and Webster County are Second Region powers and Obion Central has long been one of the best programs in northwest Tennessee.

And then there is Quincy (Ill.), which is a homecoming of sorts for head coach Sandi Devoe, a Heath alum. Known then as Sandi Griffes, she was a Paducah Sun All-Purchase selection in 1986 and 1987 and played at Paducah Community College. While there, she started dating Fred Devoe, who played for PCC's men's team, and the two went on to Quincy University together before eventually getting married.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Baseball regional awards ...

Calloway County's Casey Brockman was named the First Region's baseball Player of the Year by a vote of the region's coaches. Brockman hit .564 for the Lakers with four homers and 38 RBI, including a whopping 21 extra-base hits in 94 at-bats. He played several different positions and was also the Lakers' top pitcher, going a surprising 1-4 but with an impressive 1.45 ERA.

Zach Hobbs of Calloway was voted the regional Coach of the Year after leading the Lakers to a 21-11 record.

Brockman and Marshall County third baseman-pitcher Tyler Johnson will represent the First Region in the East-West Senior All-Star Game, with Lone Oak pitcher-outfielder Allen Haase as the alternate selection.

Graves County pitcher-infielder Ryan Hayden and Paducah Tilghman catcher Tyler Bearden will play in the juniors all-star game, with Calloway County's Grant Williams as the alternate.

Monday, June 1, 2009

All-area baseball team

We tried this last year for the first time. Here is another stab at putting together a local high school all-star baseball team.

C ... Brantley Barrett, Marshall County. He's been a consistent run-producer and his throwing arm has shown improvement over the last year. Teams rarely challenge him on the bases. Honorable mention goes to Paducah Tilghman slugger Tyler Bearden and Murray's Tanner Richerson.

1B ... Daniel Riley, Marshall County. He's another big hitter in the heart of the Marshals' order and was a big contributor on the mound, too. Unlike last year, he gets the nod over Lyon County's Ramsey Walker, another solid two-way player.

2B ... Casey Brockman, Calloway County. Brockman played several positions and pitched, although second was where he settled in as a regular. It didn't seem to matter — Brockman just kept hitting and hitting all spring. Also meriting consideration were Murray's Aron Sweeney and Marshall's Shane McKenty.

SS ... Tucker Starkey, Graves County. Maybe a surprise choice, but I really like his bat and his smoothness in the field. It was a tough call, with Murray's Daniel Thile and St. Mary's Zach Howard in the running, as was Paducah Tilghman's Kenny Fukuhara and Trigg County's Donald Bush.

3B ... Joe Mike, Graves County. This was the hardest position to call. Marshall's Tyler Johnson was neck-and-neck with Mike, but the latter's regional tournament performance earned the slight nod. Both are big run-producers and provided solid work on the mound.

LF ... Taylor Edging, Ballard Memorial. He was the most feared bat in the Bombers' lineup. He played several positions, but would settle into the outfield among this group.

CF ... James Malast, St. Mary. A fine defensive outfielder, Malast has shown a consistently developing bat in American Legion ball the past two summers.

RF ... Shane Banks, Trigg County. He was another solid utility player that saw time at several positions, but he was primarily an outfielder. He has good speed and a reliable bat in the leadoff slot.

Honorable mention for the outfield: Cameron Kimball of Marshall County, Alex Porter of Crittenden County and Brock Downey of Murray.

P ... Cody Forsythe, Marshall County. His regional tournament performance showed it all, his dominance and versatility. He's also been a good bat in the outfield.

P ... Allen Haase, Lone Oak. He could have easily found a spot in the outfield, but his mound work was his most important contribution.

P ... Roman Kelly, Murray. The Tigers' big-game pitcher emerged as an ace in his senior year.

P ... Ryan Hayden, Graves County. A sore shoulder hampered his regional tournament effort, but for the rest of the season, he delivered when the Eagles needed a big outing.