ARLINGTON — Even though the last games on the UIL baseball calendar took place Saturday, several of the Metroplex’s top players still had one final game left in their high school careers.
That came Tuesday night on the diamond at Clay Gould Ballpark on the campus of The University of Texas at Arlington for the latest edition of the North Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association all-star game.
Affording players a chance to compete in a college ballpark for their high school swan song, the showcase welcomed 51 of the area’s top players — split into East and West teams.
“It’s awesome. Obviously, these guys have worked hard all year and it’s great being selected to play in a game like this,” said Hunter Teplanszky, Marcus alum. “You have to put in the work all offseason and perform just to get here, so it’s a pretty big honor.”
Teplanszky didn’t let his all-star appearance go to waste, taking home MVP honors after contributing to a string of seven unanswered runs by the West for a 7-1 victory. The Marcus infielder went 2-for-2 with a solo home run and a single.
Committed to play at TCU, Teplanszky parked a pitch from Corsicana’s Kolby Kinkade over the right-center wall to stake the West to a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning.
“He threw a nice one and I missed it my first swing,” Teplanszky said. “I wasn’t sure if I’d get another one but he left it up, I got the swing off that time and didn’t miss it. It felt really good.”
Teplanszky later singled in the top of the eighth inning, closing out the contest as the only player to log multiple hits in the all-star game. Teplanszky teamed with fellow Marauder Ty Johnson, who doubled in the fourth inning for the West team’s first hit of the game, as well as Flower Mound alums Jack Arthur and Austin Russell.
All four saw action during a commanding close to the ballgame by the West, which scored seven runs over the final five innings after being held in check early on by the East pitching staff.
Prosper alum Josh Barnhouse got the ball rolling for his team by retiring the first three West batters in just seven pitches.
“I had fastball command today, which is really good,” Barnhouse said. “My change-up broke a lot, too, at least more than it usually does. I got a little help on a curveball that may have been a ball but got called a third strike, so that was helpful.”
Barnhouse pitched the first of three hitless, scoreless innings for the East defense. The team threw a different pitcher all nine innings on Tuesday, with Frisco Liberty’s Chandler Benson and Allen’s Brett Tanksley following Barnhouse’s lead with a trio of quick 1-2-3 innings early into the ballgame.
“I don’t really approach it any different,” Barnhouse said. “I might throw a little harder knowing that I don’t have to go the distance and put more effort into that part of it. I just try and hit my spots otherwise.”
Other local products who took the bump on Tuesday for the East team were Frisco Wakeland’s Luke Robertson, The Colony’s Devin Reyna, McKinney North’s Dylan Rogers and Plano East’s Colton Shaw.
There was plenty more representation throughout the East lineup. Starters on Tuesday included McKinney Boyd’s Tyler Collins, who singled and recorded a steal, as well as Hebron’s Connor McGinnis and Frisco Reedy’s Jordan Viars, who both drew a walk.
Reserves included Plano’s Jason Hawkins, Frisco Lebanon Trail’s Tarter Griffin, Frisco Lone Star’s Connor Shepherd and Allen’s Austin Beck.
East seized a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to an RBI triple by Rockwall’s Cole Dillon, who snuck a ball just inside the foul line to score Royse City’s Tyson Neighbors.
West drew even in the of the fifth thanks to an RBI double from Southlake Carroll’s Gunnar Krug and had the lead moments later after a sacrifice fly by Grand Prairie’s Eric Garcia. The West defense buckled down from there, allowing just one hit the rest of the ballgame — swelling the lead with Teplanszky’s home run, followed by two runs in the top of the eight inning and two more in the top of the ninth.