Parity was king during a contentious District 6-6A baseball schedule, from a score of head-to-head splits to an eventual four-way tie for third place in the league standings.
While that logjam sorted itself out, state powerhouse Marcus sat without peer atop the table as conference champions. The Marauders paved their road to another district title, followed by a trip to the regional semifinals, behind a balanced lineup and airtight pitching and defense.
Marcus was recognized in all areas as part of the annual all-district team, claiming three of the league’s six superlative honors. That included a pitcher of the year nod for alum Tyler Schott, who posted a 6-1 record in seven starts during district play. The Dallas Baptist commit logged a 0.67 ERA in those outings, surrendering just four earned runs and striking out 59 batters across 41.1 innings pitched.
Schott doubled as a key piece to the Marcus offense, batting .400, as was rising senior Jake Duer. The TCU commit swung a hot bat all season long en route to 6-6A offensive player of the year honors — Duer hit .452 during the district schedule, tallying 14 hits, 15 RBIs and scoring 13 runs. Duer was tough to keep on base, drawing 18 walks and striking out just twice as part of a .615 on-base percentage.
Anchoring the Marauders’ run atop 6-6A was head coach Jeff Sherman, named coach of the year after steering his club to a 12-2 record in conference play.
One game behind sat Coppell, another regional semifinalist. The Cowboys impressed in their first full season under head coach Ryan Howard and had the hardware to show for it. Alum Chayton Krauss was voted district MVP after juggling a 6-1 record and 1.98 ERA as a pitcher with a .391 batting average with 17 RBIs during district play.
Coppell rising senior Bradley Castillo earned defensive player of the year honors at catcher after posting a .991 fielding percentage and committing just one error in 108 chances during district play. Castillo also hit .436 from the plate and logged 15 hits and 11 RBIs.
Meanwhile, Hebron rising junior MJ Seo claimed newcomer of the year after helping steer the Hawks to a third-place finish and a return to the playoffs. Seo was strong on the mound and at the plate, batting .406 with 13 hits and eight RBIs in district play to go along with a 1.26 ERA, 29 strikeouts and a 1-0 record in four games pitched.
The Hawks’ accolades trickled down to the all-district first team where alums Connor McGinnis and Tobin Oler were recognized. McGinnis anchored the Hebron infield to the tune of a .311 batting average, as well as 13 runs scored and seven RBIs. Oler, one of the team’s top arms, clamped down opposing batters for a 1.33 ERA and just five earned runs during district play.
District champion Marcus added three first-team selections with alums Ty Johnson, Wesley Jordan and Tate Evans all recognized. Johnson earned his spot in the infield courtesy of hitting .333 and adding 13 hits, 18 runs and 11 RBIs. Jordan, an outfielder, hit .262 and added 15 RBIs, while Evans posted a 5-1 record and a 1.81 ERA on the hill. He struck out 46 batters in 6-6A action and walked just 10.
Coppell alums Tony Vernars and Will Rodman represented the second-place Cowboys on the first team. Vernars manned the outfield while hitting .303 for 10 hits, six runs and six RBIs, as well as a perfect fielding percentage, while Rodman submitted a 0.83 ERA and 22 strikeouts across 33.2 innings of work.
Joining Hebron in the third-place logjam was eventual playoff qualifier Plano, which advanced to the regional quarterfinals in its first season under head coach Rick Cremer. The Wildcats landed four on the all-district first team — alum Logan Anderson earn a spot out of the infield, joined by junior pitcher Kyle Bade, alum catcher Jason Hawkins and alum designated hitter Jackson Peters.
Anderson hit .365 in district play, adding 19 hits, 10 doubles, 12 RBIs and 11 runs. Bade earned a starting role on the mound as just a sophomore, going 4-1 in district play with a 2.20 ERA and 37 strikeouts. Hawkins logged a .364 batting average as well as 16 hits, 12 runs and six RBIs, and Peters supplied a .294 average plus13 hits, eight RBIs and six runs.
Plano’s playoff hopes rested on winning a play-in game over rival Plano West, which was represented on the all-district first team by alum Nick Moore. Earning a utility spot, Moore was impactful all over for the Wolves — batting .354 for 17 hits, four doubles and 10 runs scored, plus a 2.84 ERA and 42 strikeouts.
Flower Mound rounded out the third-place logjam, missing the playoffs via tiebreakers. The Jaguars had two selected to the all-district first team in alumni infielders Austin Russell and Jack Arthur. Russell hit .333 from the plate and added 13 hits and 13 runs scored, while Arthur hit .405 to go along with 17 hits, 11 runs and nine RBIs.
Plano East, meanwhile, recognized three of its standouts with first-team selections. Alum Jake Jennings made the cut for his work in the infield, hitting .271 for nine hits and five runs, plus a .967 fielding percentage on defense. Alum Ben Baker-Livingston made the first-team outfield after batting .300 in district play for 12 hits and four RBIs, plus a .905 fielding percentage. Rising senior Caleb Bergman joined Baker-Livingston as a first-team outfielder, hitting .250 from the plate for 12 hits and seven runs scored.
Lewisville’s lone all-district pick resided on the second with rising junior Drew Schmidt recognized. As a sophomore, Schmidt posted a 3.50 ERA and struck out 32 batters for the eighth-place Farmers.
Joining Schmidt on the second team was Coppell rising junior TJ Pompey, Flower Mound rising senior Chris Kelley, Marcus alum Hunter Teplanszky, West alum Chase Spencer, Coppell rising junior Tanner Sever, Coppell rising senior Walker Polk, Flower Mound alum Josh Johnson, Plano alum Ashton Cason, West rising junior JT Gorman, Hebron rising junior Lane Haworth, Coppell alum Ryan Walker, Flower Mound rising senior Cole Carter, East alum Apollo Cassimitis, Plano alum Jacob Prokarym, Flower Mound alum Santosh Gottam, and Marcus junior Van Klein.