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White, Nelson named All-American

Two Pike Liberal Arts Patriots received a bit of good news on Tuesday when they were told they were named to the Rawlings and Perfect Game Preseason All-American Team, which recognizes the top high school underclassmen in the country.

Patriot newcomer Mayes White was selected as a second team member, while Drew Nelson was named as a honorable mention.

“It’s exciting,” White said. “It makes me want to push harder and get better this summer. It’s an honor because I worked hard. My family and my teammates supported me.”

Both White and Nelson were named to the Southeastern All-American Team. The Rawlings-Perfect Game All-American team recognizes 300 players from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Each team consists 100 players that are currently juniors, sophomores or freshmen in high school.

“These are not only two great baseball players, but also two great young men,” said Patriots head coach Allen Ponder. “They both work very hard every day and the awards that they are receiving are a direct result of that hard work. I’m extremely proud of both of them and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Mayes White played in just 12 games for the Patriots after making the move from Tuscaloosa Academy.

With the Patriots, White hit .176.  He scored nine runs in his 12 games, while driving in four runs. He finished the season with two extra base hits.

In his brief time with the Patriots in the 2020, White forged strong relationships with his new teammates.

“It was hard at first,” White said. “Everybody came to me with open arms and made it really easy for me. I began to like it.”

White played shortstop this season, he believe his best work comes in the field thanks to a powerful arm.

Nelson spent the 2020 season as a pitcher, while also playing right field.

On the mound, Nelson went into the stoppage with a 1-0 record and a 1.86 ERA in his four appearances on the mound. He had 22 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched.

Nelson had 57 plate appearances before the stoppage. He batted .319 with seven RBI and 10 runs scored. He finished with four extra base hits. 

White has his sights on one day making it the major leagues. He believes this award will help him stay motivated to reach that goal.

“I went into the weight room this morning,” White said. “I want to get better. I want to  become an Under Armour All-American. If I can make that a lot of Major League Baseball scouts will be there watching me. I want to work for the draft.”