Bradford earns All-Messenger Player of the Year
Published 9:36 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023
The 2023 All-Messenger Baseball Team is filled with a number of veteran and underclassmen players from the area, headlined by Player of the Year KC Bradford of Pike Liberal Arts School.
Bradford was a senior leader of a Pike Lib team that made it to the Class 2A Final Four in the school’s inaugural season in AHSAA. Bradford also earned All-State honors as a junior and senior, and was All-Messenger in football this season, as well. Bradford finished 2023 with a .415 batting average, nine doubles, three triples, an area-high eight home runs, 35 RBIs, 44 runs and 16 stolen bases. On defense, he earned a .872 fielding percentage with 42 putouts, 60 assists and seven double plays on defense. He also pitched 28 innings and struck out 35 batters with a 2-0 starting record.
Joining Bradford on the All-Messenger Team from Pike Lib is sophomore pitcher Luke Barron, junior catcher John Lott, junior first baseman Payne Jefcoat and senior outfielder Levi DeBoer. Additionally, first-year head coach Will Austin of Pike Lib is also the All-Messenger Coach of the Year.
Lott earned a .417 batting average with 22 runs, 38 RBIs, nine doubles, two triples, one home run and 11 stolen bases as he also took home All-State honors. On defense, he held a .996 fielding percentage with 14 runners caught stealing and one pickoff. Barron pitched 49 and 1/3 innings and struck out a team-high 39 batters and boasted a 2.57 ERA. He also held a 7-3 record on the mound.
DeBoer earned a .411 batting average with 41 runs, 21 RBIs, double doubles, three homers and 17 stolen bases, also earning All-State honors. He also had a team-high .528 on-base percentage. On defense, DeBoer held a .975 fielding percentage, 38 putouts and one assist. Jefcoat boasted a .393 batting average with 31 runs, 40 RBIs, eight doubles, two triples, four home runs and 12 stolen bases. On defense, he held a .990 fielding percentage with 193 putouts, eight assists and a team-high nine double plays.
The All-Messenger Pitcher of the Year is Charles Henderson High School junior Parker Adams, who finished the season with a 3.42 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched. He also boasted a 1.378 WHIP. At the plate, Adams earning a .325 batting average with a .417 on-base percentage and .359 slugging percentage. He tallied two doubles, one triple, 10 RBIs and 20 runs on the season. He also had a team-high five double plays.
Joining Adams on the All-Messenger Team from CHHS are senior catcher Damien Hart and senior outfielder Will Templin. Hart also earned All-Messenger honors in football and All-State honors in baseball. He will play college baseball and football at Miles College. He ended the season with a .400 batting average, .706 slugging percentage, 10 doubles, two triples, four homers, 25 RBIs and 22 runs. He also held a .946 fielding percentage with two runners picked off and 17 runners caught stealing. Templin earned a .292 batting average with five doubles, 23 RBIs, 20 runs and 13 stolen bases. He earned a .971 fielding percentage with 64 putouts and four assists.
Representing Pike County High School on the All-Messenger team is junior pitcher Omari Barrow and sophomore outfielder Michael Gabel. Barrow pitched 25 and 1/3 innings and struck out 38 batters, while holding a 4.421 ERA. At the plate, he earned a .448 batting average with five doubles, four RBIs and 16 runs. Gabel earned a .371 batting average with a .450 on-base percentage, two doubles, 11 RBIs, seven runs and seven stolen bases. He also earned 14 putouts on defense.
Representing Goshen on the All-Messenger Team is sophomore catcher Tyler McLendon and senior outfielder Brody Wilks. Wilks earned a .300 batting average with 12 RBIs, 15 runs and a .407 on-base percentage. McLendon held a .386 batting average with 22 hits, 10 RBIs, 19 runs and a .444 on-base percentage.
Junior infielder Mason Stuart and junior third baseman Wes Braisted represent Zion Chapel High School on the All-Messenger team. Stuart played both catcher and third base for the Rebels and earned a .349 batting average, .463 on-base percentage and .651 slugging percentage. He tallied 15 hits, eight singles, four doubles, one triple, nine RBIs, 17 runs and eight stolen bases on the season. He also totaled 46 putouts, one double play and 14 assists with a .882 fielding percentage on defense. In 57 innings as a catcher he caught four runners stealing and had four pickoffs. Braisted earned a team-high .411 batting average with 17 singles, five doubles, one triple, eight RBIs, 17 runs and eight stolen bases. He also earned a .794 fielding percentage with eight putouts and 19 assists.
2023 All-Messenger Team
P: Parker Adams, Charles Henderson (Jr.)
P: Omari Barrow, Pike County (Jr.)
P: Luke Barron, Pike Liberal Arts. (So.)
C: John Lott, Pike Liberal Arts (Jr.)
C: Damien Hart, Charles Henderson (Sr.)
C: Tyler McLendon, Goshen (So.)
IF: Payne Jefcoat, Pike Liberal Arts (Jr.)
IF: KC Bradford, Pike Liberal Arts (Sr.)
IF: Mason Stuart, Zion Chapel (Jr.)
IF: Wes Braisted, Zion Chapel (Jr.)
OF: Will Templin, Charles Henderson (Sr.)
OF: Michael Gabel, Pike County (So.)
OF: Brody Wilkes, Goshen (Sr.)
OF: Levi DeBoer, Pike Liberal Arts (Sr.)
Pitcher of the Year: Parker Adams, Charles Henderson
Player of the Year: KC Bradford, Pike Liberal Arts
Coach of the Year: Will Austin, Pike Liberal Arts