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2003 All S-D Baseball Team

Sunday, June 15, 2003

(Photo)
Mitch Wood - Coach
ABOUT THIS TEAM: The 2003 All-Standard Democrat Baseball Team is a collection of the best baseball players in the Standard Democrat coverage area. Players were selected by position, based on their performance in the spring season. Teams in our coverage area include Sikeston, Oran, Chaffee, New Madrid County Central, Portageville, Charleston, Kelly, East Prairie, Dexter, Bell City and Scott County Central. Photos were done by David Jenkins, Lance Hanlin and Kyle Carter.

Lance Rhodes -- Jr.

* This season, Rhodes went from a standout pitcher that could hit a little, to a dangerous hitter that also pitches. The junior batted .402 and showed surprising power with six home runs. He also had 27 RBIs, 37 runs scored, 10 doubles and two triples. On the mound, he went 5-2 with a 3.15 ERA. He struck out 56 and walked 22 in 46 2/3 innings.

Blake DeWitt -- Jr.

* With one of the greatest offensive seasons, not only in school history, but in state history, DeWitt was the obvious choice for our Player of the Year for the second straight season. His numbers speak for themselves: .513 average, 14 home runs, 56 RBIs, 15 doubles, two triples, 40 runs scored, 17 walks. He had just two errors in 91 chances as the everyday shortstop. To top it off, he was arguably the best pitcher in the area with a 9-0 record and a 0.87 ERA in 48 1/3 innings. He struck out 62 and walked 10.

Trey Graviett -- Sr.

* When Oran needed to get the automatic out, there was no better player to have on the mound than Graviett. The senior went 8-1 with a save in 64 1/3 innings. He had a 1.52 ERA with 91 strikeouts and 31 walks. He's also one of the top hitters on the team with a team-leading .463 average, eight homers, nine doubles, two triples, 32 RBIs and 35 runs scored.

Tyler Cookson -- Sr.

* In a lineup loaded with sluggers, Cookson was the most prolific. He crushed 10 home runs and had a team-leading 43 RBIs. He batted .403 with nine doubles and 34 runs scored. Not only that, but he did the little things too, leading the team with four sacrifice flies. He walked 14 times and was hit by a pitch 11 times.

Willie Dooley -- Sr.

* With a body closer to Cal Ripken than Ozzie Smith, Dooley proved that taller players can play shortstop just as well. He was not only a consistent fielder, he batted .361 with three homers, five doubles, a triple and 19 RBIs. Said Dexter head coach Brian Becker, "when we needed a big hit, Willie would step up and usually pull through for us."

Joey Bickings -- Sr.

* On any other team, Bickings' numbers would stand out above anybody else. But even still, the senior belted nine home runs with 39 RBIs and a .379 average. He had seven doubles, one home run and 34 runs scored. He also stole nine bases and covered plenty of ground in the outfield.

Scotty Keenan -- Jr.

* The left-handed Keenan underwent a position change and was moved around in the batting order this year. He responded with flawless play in centerfield (zero errors) and a solid year at the plate. He batted .386 with two home runs, seven doubles and four triples. He had 18 RBIs with 29 runs scored.

Nathan Eaves -- Jr.

* Eaves is the fastest member on the Bulldogs' team, which allows him to catch nearly every ball hit into right field. He's every bit as good at the plate as he hit .424 with four homers and four doubles. He had 20 RBIs and 29 runs scored with six stolen bases.

Jacob Priday -- Jr.

* Priday followed up his breakout sophomore year with perhaps the best offensive season in the area behind DeWitt. He led the team with a .519 average and 41 hits. He also had eight home runs, 13 doubles, 31 RBIs, 30 runs scored and six stolen bases. On top of that, he's one of the best defensive catchers in the area. According to the MSHSAA Records Book, Priday broke the state record for chances with 193.

Ryne Wood -- Sr.

* Wood has always been the leader of the team -- the general in the field. He backed it up with a .460 average, five homers, eight doubles, 36 RBIs and 37 runs scored. He led the team with 40 hits. On the mound, he went 6-0 with a 2.20 ERA in 28 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out 31 and walked eight.

Mitch Wood -- Coach

* Oran's second place finish in the state tournament was no surprise. Neither was the team's 22-3-1 record. But it's the way it happened that makes Wood our Coach of the Year. Beset with injuries midway through the year, Wood kept the team's head above water long enough to get healthy. The Eagles averaged 12.5 runs per game while allowing just 2.8.

Here are the players that just missed the cut for the first team.

2nd team

UTILITY Mack Taylor -- Sr.

Dexter Bearcats

* The senior led Dexter in home runs with four and RBIs with 20. He also batted .364 with three doubles. Not only was he the team's top run-producer, but he was one of the top pitchers. He was 6-2 with a 2.83 ERA.

PITCHER

Cullen DeHart -- So.

Sikeston Bulldogs

* Sikeston was desperate for a solid No. 3 starter going into the season. But they certainly didn't expect the year the young DeHart put out. The sophomore lefty was 7-0 with a 0.95 ERA in 36 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out 35 and walked nine. He was solid at the plate too, batting .390 with a homer, six doubles, a triple, 17 RBIs and 15 runs scored.

CATCHER

Nathan Seyer -- Sr.

Oran Eagles

* During any other time, Seyer would easily be the best catcher in the area. He followed up his huge junior year with another standout season despite a season-threatening injury midway through. He still finished with a .400 average, nine homers and eight doubles to go with his 41 RBIs and 39 runs scored.

INFIELD

Drew Lawrence -- Sr.

Sikeston Bulldogs

* Considering he had to switch from left field to third base and from batting fifth in the order to leadoff, Lawrence's final season as a Bulldog was a successful one. He batted .351 with two homers, nine doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs and 36 runs scored. And he also played adequate defense at the hot corner.

Matt Burnett -- Sr.

* The football star overcame a career-threatening knee injury and bounced back with another solid year on the diamond. The senior second baseman led Dexter with 12 doubles and batted .367 with one home run. He also had 15 RBIs and eight stolen bases.

Ben Duncan -- Sr.

* Bell City looked to one player to carry the mail this year. And that player was Ben Duncan. The senior was the team's top pitcher with a 5-1 record. And he hit .470 with three home runs while playing the demanding shortstop position.

Major Burger -- Sr.

* On the Hawks' young team, Burger was the senior leader. He led the team in batting with a .348 average to go with his 11 runs, 14 RBIs, one home run and two doubles. He also logged the most innings on the pitching staff with 37 1/3. He went 3-3 with a 4.31 ERA while striking out 38.

OUTFIELD

Cale Williams -- Jr.

Dexter Bearcats

* Williams was selected to the first team outfield on the SEMO Conference team and with his numbers one can see why. He batted .358 with five doubles and seven RBIs, but his strongest trait was his stellar defense in the outfield.

Marcus Dixon -- Jr.

* Dixon was a do-everything player for the Bluejays this year. He was one of the top hitters, batting .390 with 16 runs, four doubles and a .527 on-base percentage. In the outfield he was the most solid, committing no errors. And he was the team's ace, with a 2-4 record, a 3.58 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 43 innings.

Richard Landers -- So.

* Landers rotated between second base and left field this year. All the switching around didn't bother him as he made just one error this year. On top of it, the sophomore hit .356 with a homer, 20 RBIs and 14 runs scored.