Pats Earn Top Honors In All-League Baseball
Pinecrest's Jeff Hewitt felt appreciative and humble as he left last week's Mid-Southeastern Conference baseball coaches meeting.
By a vote of the coaches, Chais Beloso had been chosen co-conference player of the year along with Corey Ayers of Richmond Senior. Patriot teammates Josh Haley, Lawson Thomas, Zach Pickard, Andrew MacDonald and Taylor MacDonald also made the honor squad.
The six selections were the most for Pinecrest in Hewitt's nine years as the head coach of the Patriots.
Hewitt, who has compiled a career record at Pinecrest of 149-68 (90-31 conference), was selected coach of the year by his league peers.
Pinecrest finished this season with an overall record of 19-5 after falling 2-0 to Leesville Road on Tuesday in the second round of the state 4-A playoffs. The Patriots and Richmond shared the conference title with 13-1 marks, but the Pats earned the first seed in the state playoffs by defeating the Raiders 4-2 in a tiebreaker game.
Beloso impressed the league coaches both on the mound and with his bat. Pitching, the UNC-Pembroke-bound senior was 4-1 with two saves. In 48 2/3 innings, he allowed only 26 hits while striking out 81 batters and compiling an ERA of 1.44. The team's shortstop when he wasn't pitching, he led the Patriots in batting average (.438), hits (35) and RBIs (26).
Haley, who suffered a fractured left thumb diving for a ball in center field in the first playoff game, is also headed for UNC-Pembroke. The senior leadoff man batted .423 for the season and had an amazing on base average of .539. He led the team in runs (30), doubles (7), home runs (6), stolen bases (21) and walks (16).
Thomas, a senior first baseman, batted .333 with four home runs and 17 RBIs. Another senior, Pickard, committed only one error all year at his second base position. He finished with a batting average of .304 and was second on the team in runs scored with 29.
Twin brothers Taylor and Andrew MacDonald both compiled 4-2 records on the mound. Taylor, a right-hander, finished with a minuscule ERA of 0.72, allowing only three earned runs in 29 1/3 innings. The junior third baseman also batted .296 and was second on the team with 18 RBIs.
Andrew was second behind Beloso in innings pitched (36 2/3) and strikeouts 63. The left-hander's ERA was 2.10. He played right field and batted .292 with an on-base percentage of .433.
The fruits of another successful season for Pinecrest included four players being selected through tryouts to participate in the State Games held at UNC-Greensboro and War Memorial Stadium from June 11 through June 15.
Beloso and Haley will be members of the 20-man East team in the Senior State Games, although Haley will probably not be able to play because of his injury. Andrew and Taylor MacDonald made the Region 4 team for the State Games for underclassmen.
Pinecrest statistical leaders
Average -- Beloso .438, Haley .423, Thomas .333, Dillon Maples .323, Pickard .304; On-base average -- Haley .539, Beloso .459, A. MacDonald .433, Pickard, Maples .410; Runs -- Haley 30, Pickard 29, Beloso, A. MacDonald, James Baldwin 16; Hits -- Beloso 35, Haley 30, Thomas 25, Pickard, T. MacDonald 21; Doubles -- Haley 7, Beloso 6, Thomas 4; Triples -- Haley, A. MacDonald 2; Home runs -- Haley 6, Thomas 4, Pickard 3, Trent Fredericks 2; RBI -- Beloso 26, T. MacDonald 18, Thomas 17, Haley 14, Fredericks 11; Walks -- Haley 16, Baldwin 13, Pickard 11; Stolen bases -- Haley 21, Pickard 7.
Record -- Zach Christian 4-0, Jeremy Evans 3-0, Beloso 4-1, A. MacDonald 4-2, T. MacDonald 4-2; Innings pitched -- Beloso 48.7, A. MacDonald 36.7, T. MacDonald 29.3, Evans 18.7; Strikeouts -- Beloso 81, A. MacDonald 63, T. MacDonald 32, Evans 25; ERA -- Evans 0.37, T. MacDonald 0.72; Christian 1.29, Beloso 1.44, A. MacDonald 2.10
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