Patriot athletes to play in All-Star games on Monday

Published 10:27 pm Friday, June 1, 2012

Six Pike Liberal Arts athletes will travel to Montgomery on Monday to participate in the AISA All-Star baseball and softball games on Monday.

Four seniors and one junior will represent the baseball team while Joselyn Jones will play in the softball event.

Lawson Stewart, Nick McLaughlin, Blake Floyd, and Josh Starling will play in the senior game as members of the American team. Taytom Barnes will play on the American team for the junior team. Both games will be held at Patterson Field with the juniors kicking things off at 4 p.m. and the senior following immediately afterwards.

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Pike head coach Butch Austin, who will coach the American squad with assistant coach Bob Pickett, says it’s a testament to the Patriots athletic program as a whole to have five baseball players selected.

“It’s good for the boys and it’s good for the program,” Austin said. “To have five players selected says something about the program at Pike Liberal Arts.”

Stewart led the Patriots on the mound in the AISA State Championship Series against Tuscaloosa Academy, tossing seven innings in two games. Stewart started Game 1 and earned the win in the 18-1 Patriots rout. The right-hander also pitched the final two innings in Game 3 to preserve a 15-10 victory and the state title.

McLaughlin batted .398 for Pike in the regular season playing center field while an occasional start at catcher. McLaughlin belted 18 home runs in his final two seasons as a Patriot and had an on-base percentage of over .500 each season.

As Pike’s starting catcher, Floyd turned his game up a notch in the playoffs in 2012 batting .407 in the postseason and four solid innings in Game 2 against Tuscaloosa.

Starling played both third base and pitched for Pike and had a good year. He batted over .300 in the playoffs and pitched well during the regular season.

The lone junior selected, Barnes hit .351 on the regular season with a team-high 40 RBI.

“They all had great seasons and deserve it,” Austin said. “It’s an honor for them and I’m sure they’ll do good.”

Pike’s only softball selection, junior Joselyn Jones, was a leader both offensively and with the glove. The junior softball game is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Lagoon Park.