RJ Ruais

Celina rising junior RJ Ruais was named to the all-district first team.

The Celina baseball team stacked up among the best in Class 4A during the regular season in 2021. The Bobcats exited their district schedule with a 23-7 record and the state’s No. 4 ranking in the Diamond Pro/THSB top 25.

Although Celina’s aspirations of a long playoff run hit a snag in an area-round series loss to Waxahachie Life, the Bobcats came away with plenty of commendation for their 2021 campaign on the annual 9-4A all-district team.

Celina went unbeaten in league play with a 12-0 record and had two players voted for all-district superlatives — rising junior Noah Bentley was named 9-4A pitcher of the year and rising junior Caden Mitchell picked up offensive player of the year honors.

Bentley submitted season-long tallies of a 1.19 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, as well as 115 strikeouts and 28 walks across 64.2 innings pitched. Additionally, Bentley logged four no-hitters and teamed up with rising senior Cole Marthiljohni as part of a perfect game by the Bobcats against Gainesville on March 23. At the plate, Bentley hit .379 on the year for 36 hits, 32 RBIs and 21 runs.

Mitchell, meanwhile, hit .450 from the plate and logged a .534 on-base percentage. He added 27 hits, including nine doubles and three home runs, as well as 16 RBIs and 16 runs scored.

Steering the ship for Celina’s district title campaign was head coach Jake Davis. He and his assistants were named 9-4A’s staff of the year.

The Bobcats also landed five players on the all-district first team. That cast included rising junior RJ Ruais, a pitcher who posted a 6-1 record on the mound as well as a 1.50 ERA, 92 strikeouts and 24 walks.

Behind the plate for Celina was rising senior catcher Ty Marthiljohni, also an all-district first-team pick. He hit .276 on the year and added 16 hits and a .990 fielding percentage.

At first base, alum DJ Dell’Anno capped a busy senior campaign — he had starring roles on Celina’s football and boys basketball teams — with an all-district first-team pick on the diamond. Dell’Anno brought plenty of power to the Bobcats’ lineup with a .341 batting average, 31 hits, 28 RBIs, 28 runs, six doubles and three home runs.

Fellow infielder and alum Ethan Elliott was also named to the first team after hitting .418 and logging 38 hits, 12 doubles, 28 RBIs and 26 runs.

Rising senior Caden Thode rounded out the club’s first-team selections in the outfield after launching a team-high 42 hits, as well as a .416 batting average, eight doubles, 18 RBIs and 31 runs scored.

Second-team selections for Celina included rising senior Brady Cunningham, rising junior Jackson Rooker and rising senior Zach Veverka.

Cunningham spelled Ruais and Bentley on the mound, posting a 2.95 ERA over 19 innings pitched. He added 30 strikeouts and 18 walks.

Rooker, meanwhile, carved out a spot in the middle infield and chipped in a .337 batting average, 30 hits, six doubles, 19 RBIs and 22 runs.

Veverka, an outfielder, tied for the team lead in stolen bases with 14 to go along with a .279 average, 15 RBIs and 16 runs.

Honorable mentions for the Bobcats went to alums Anthony Boyle, Mitchell Ray, Brock Schramme and rising senior Cole Marthiljohni.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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