Baseball players honored
The Midtown Optimist Club presented its Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year baseball awards Wednesday, May 19 at Azalea City Golf Course’s banquet room. The club selected a player and pitcher from both Mobile and Baldwin counties. Taking the Mobile County awards were Pitcher of the Year Maddux Bruns of UMS-Wright and Player of the Year Grant Jay of Mobile Christian. Bruns, considered a high prospect for the upcoming Major League Baseball Draft, posted a 7-0 record with an 0.86 earned run average and 105 strikeouts in 49 innings. Jay is batting .465 on the year, with 40 hits, 13 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 35 runs batted in, 43 runs scored, 29 walks and 16 stolen bases. The Baldwin County Pitcher of the Year is Bayside Academy’s Josh Gunther, who is 9-1 on the year with an 0.73 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 65 innings. The Player of the Year is Cameron Brock of Fairhope. He batted .423 with 44 hits, 13 doubles, seven home runs, 28 RBI, 35 runs and 17 walks. Former Major Leaguer Randy McGilberry was the guest speaker at the event.
South Alabama is top seed
With a 13-3 victory in the final game of a three-game series at Appalachian State on Saturday, the South Alabama baseball team captured the Sun Belt Conference East Division title for the year. The win also gave the Jaguars the No. 1 seeding in this week’s Sun Belt Conference tournament at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery. The tournament was set to begin Tuesday and continue through Sunday. The tournament will use a pod format, with South Alabama playing Coastal Carolina on Wednesday (11 a.m.) and Little Rock on Thursday (11 a.m.). The winner of the pod will advance to the single-elimination semifinal round against the winner of Pod D (Troy, Arkansas State, Texas-Arlington). The Jags are 29-20 on the year.
Hotard takes Daphne job
Reed Hotard, 35, who spent the past 11 seasons as an assistant coach at McGill-Toolen for head coach Phillip Murphy, has been named the new boys’ basketball head coach at Daphne High School. Reed replaces DeMarcus Mosley, who held the position for only one season.
Jags’ softball season ends
South Alabama’s softball team was eliminated from the Gainesville Regional of the NCAA Tournament last weekend, ending the Jaguars’ season with a 31-21 overall record. South Alabama defeated Baylor 2-0 in the first game of the double-elimination event, but then lost to top-seeded Florida 10-0 before falling 1-0 in South Florida. It marked the fifth time the Jags have earned an NCAA Tournament berth, the first in six years. “Getting into the postseason, especially for the younger kids that we have on the roster, was big,” USA head coach Becky Clark said. “It was important for them to see what postseason was like because you can’t replicate that in practice or fabricate this kind of environment.”
Fluker named Field Performer of Year
South Alabama hammer throw and shot put athlete Autavia Fluker of Bessemer was named the Sun Belt Conference’s Women’s Field Athlete of the Year for the outdoor track and field season. Fluker, who won the hammer throw at last week’s Sun Belt Conference Championships on the Jaguars’ campus, automatically qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials with a throw of 68.17 meters, which broke the league record. She also finished runner-up in the shot put and was a first-team all-conference selection. Other South Alabama athletes earning first-team all-conference men’s/women’s field honors included Carolien Millenaar (3,000 meter, 5,000-meter steeplechase), Rickson Opont (shot put), Christian Ellis (triple jump), Francois Prinsloo (discus) and Kyle Rademeyer (pole vault). Second-team all-conference honorees from South Alabama include Hanna-Mai Vaikla, Sebestian Loschner and David Dolan, with Emilee Berge, Colette Uys, Graham Collins, Noah Mumme and Xavier Rogers collecting third-team nods.
Sun Chiefs picks up honors
Members of the Coastal Alabama Community College South softball team in Bay Minette were recognized for their play by the Alabama Community College Conference this past season. Mallory Radwitch was named Coach of the Year, while Katherine Richardson was named Player of the Year and an All-Region 22 selection. The Sun Chiefs’ Ashlynn Jenkins was named Pitcher of the Year and All-Region 22 and Caitlin McRee earned an All-Region 22 selection.
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