Arthur named Pitcher of the Year; All-Conference baseball announced

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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The Coastal Plains Conference coaches voted Northside junior Brandon Arthur as the league’s Pitcher of the Year and five other Panthers joined him on the All-Conference team.

Three Southside players also made the first team.

Arthur went 3-0 with a 2.84 earned run average for the league champion Panthers, who finished 19-5 overall and made it to the third round of the 1A state playoffs. He also hit .419 with 35 runs scored and played shortstop and caught when he wasn’t pitching.

“He was one of a few guys who moved around for us when they weren’t pitching,” coach Keith Boyd said. “His pitching velocity was good and he was very solid behind the plate. It will be great to have him back next year. All the guys who made All-Conference fit together very well. They were a hard-working group and helped the team in their own way.”

Seniors Carson Clinkscales, Eli Huynh, Briley Cooper and Tres Cherry along with junior Hunter Chrismon also represented Northside.

Clinkscales, a first baseman, led the conference with a .514 average and scored 36 runs with 31 runs batted in and 18 stolen bases.

Huynh played shortstop when he wasn’t pitching and hit .456 with 14 stolen bases and went 7-2 with 62 strikeouts in 38.2 innings on the mound.

Cooper hit .375 and scored 25 runs at third base and went 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA.

Cherry played center field and batted .308 and was 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA.

Chrismon caught and played shortstop and hit .419 with 22 RBI.

Seniors Carson Edwards and Walker Hill along with junior Cutter Williams made it from Southside.

Edwards batted .319 with 17 RBI at first base as the Seahawks (9-12) made their first playoff appearance since 2019.

Williams hit .344 and struck out 58 batters in 44.2 innings, while Hill batted .297 with 18 runs scored and fanned 30 batters in 23.2 innings.

“Carson led off for us and was a tremendous defensive first baseman” coach Stanley Dixon said. “He impressed the other coaches with his confidence at the plate and his ability to get on base. Cutter was huge for us at the plate and on the mound. He hit with power and was one of the more dominant pitchers in the conference. His ability to work the entire plate is what makes him so respected. Walker played all the infield positions except catcher and did a great job pitching in relief for us. He was a solid defensive player and put the bat on the ball at the plate.”

Freshmen Jackson Harding, Luke Bullock and Taylor Ashley made the second team.

Washington had three players on the Eastern Plains 2A All-Conference team; senior second baseman Connor Edwards, junior shortstop Hunter Baldree and sophomore pitcher/first baseman Bryce Williams.

Baldree was among the league leaders with a .459 average, 26 RBI, 14 stolen bases and 13 extra base hits.

Edwards hit .340 and was excellent in the field, while Williams hit .391 and fanned 32 batters in 24.2 innings on the mound.

“Connor anchored our middle infield and bailed us out of some tough spots with his defense,” coach Will Tyson said. ‘He also came up with some big hits for us. Bryce was a pleasant surprise with the way he developed at the plate and on the mound as a sophomore. Baldree finished third in the Player of the Year voting and is the man to beat next year. He was solid at shortstop, developed some power at the plate and closed games on the mound. He is part of a solid group of returning players.”