Ashley Ridge, Fort Dorchester and Summerville landed a player on the 2019 South Carolina Baseball Coaches Association Class AAAAA All-state Baseball Team.
Ashley Ridge pitcher/first baseman Chris Watkins, Fort Dorchester pitcher/shortstop Jalen Vasquez and Summerville catcher/infielder Cole Messina are among only 26 athletes from the state selected for this year’s All-state team.
When Watkins was on the mound this season the Swamp Foxes seemed unstoppable. The senior finished his final season at AR with a 9-0 record and a .696 ERA. He struck out 88 batters while surrendering only 19 bases on balls and six earned runs in 60-plus innings of work. He had a .967 fielding average.
At the plate, Watkins had a .367 batting average, .519 on-base percentage and .595 slugging percentage. He had 29 hits including nine doubles, three triples and a homerun while scoring 18 runs and driving in 18 runs.
Vasquez helped Fort Dorchester claim the 2019 Region 8-AAAAA Championship. With 46-plus innings on the mound, the junior was the Patriots’ most active pitcher. He was 4-3 on the season with a save. Vasquez finished with a 2.87 ERA after striking out 51 batters while only surrendering 29 bases on balls and 19 earned runs.
Offensively, Vasquez led the Patriots in hits (28), runs (30), doubles (7), triples (5), bases on balls (22) and stolen bases (11). He finished the season with a .341 batting average, .481 on-base percentage and .549 slugging percentage. Vasquez had 12 RBIs and only eight strike outs.
Messina was solid all season for the Green Wave both at the plate and behind it. The sophomore finished with 12 homeruns, which makes him the state leader for dingers in 2019. He had a .434 batting average and .549 on-base percentage after tallying 29 hits including five doubles and the 12 homers. He drove in 26 runs this season.
With Messina’s help, Summerville won its district in the playoffs and advanced to the Lower State championship series before falling to eventual state champion Dutch Fork.
Berkeley’s Jeffrey Ziegler and James Island’s Jaxon Weatherford are the only other Lowcountry players selected for this year’s 5A All-state Team. Blythewood’s John Lanier was named the 5A Player of the Year while his coach, former Summerville coach Banks Faulkner, was named the 5A Coach of the Year.
Players from other parts of the state making the list are Regan Reid (TL Hanna), Trotter Harland (Hillcrest), Tyler Causey (Nation Ford), Rickey Williams (River Bluff), Andrew Leo (St. James), Nolan Edwards-Carolina Forest),Connor Manco (Fort Mill), Devin Bond (Easley), Caden Grice (Riverside), Albert Osuna (Mauldin), Cade Austin (Chapin), Ty Olenchuk (Dutch Fork), Chris Veach (Chapin), Noah Jackson (Dutch Fork), Alex Urban (River Bluff), Russell Parry (Dorman), Thomas Frick (JL Mann), Landon Lucas (Blythewood), JT Marr (Fort Mill) and Jeffery Maidhof (Nation Ford).