Eagle Elite Baseball: SC's Hicks named Player of the Year

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 7/4/18

Sumiton Christian returned to its spot as a state title contender on the baseball diamond in 2018 — and Joe Hicks was at the heart of the revival for coach Lance Blair’s Eagles.The junior first …

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Eagle Elite Baseball: SC's Hicks named Player of the Year

Posted

Sumiton Christian returned to its spot as a state title contender on the baseball diamond in 2018 — and Joe Hicks was at the heart of the revival for coach Lance Blair’s Eagles.

The junior first baseman and pitcher was both Sumiton Christian’s top hitter as well as the ace on the mound.

“He can change a game in a moment’s notice with the stick,” Blair said of Hicks. “He has always been fundamentally sound, but now he’s more athletic. That’s been the game changer. He’s grown 4 or 5 inches and really worked on his agility and strength.”

Hicks hit .423 with a .521 on-base percentage in his junior season with 41 hits, 32 runs, 34 RBIs, 13 doubles, one triple, one home run and eight stolen bases. 

On the mound, he was 5-4 with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. In 56 innings, he allowed 25 hits and 40 walks while striking out 108.

Hicks is the Daily Mountain Eagle’s Baseball Player of the Year.

“He’s relentless when it comes to work ethic — that’s what sets him apart,” Blair added.

In the playoffs, Hicks was at his best. In six games, he was 7 of 18 with two doubles, a grand slam, seven runs and seven RBIs at the plate. He was 2-1 on the mound, striking out 31 batters in 16 2/3 innings while allowing seven hits and 11 walks. His playoff ERA was 1.68 with a 1.08 WHIP.

Against Isabella in the opening round, Hicks tossed a complete-game one-hitter, striking out 17 Mustangs. In the second round against Victory Christian, Hicks was at it again, striking out 10 while allowing four hits in seven innings. Millry finally got to Hicks in the third round, scoring four runs in 2 2/3 innings. 

“I would say through the first two rounds of playoffs he basically was unhittable in both of those games,” Blair said.

Hicks also had one of the few highlights in the quarterfinals vs. Millry, belting a grand slam, in a 9-5 loss.

“He’s not just a good player, he’s a good person too. He’s really active in the community with special needs kids. He has a heart for that. Joe has been a part of so many different things, the ballet in Birmingham and the Night to Shine. I think he’s a complete person,” Blair said. 

———

2018 Baseball Eagle Elite

Player of Year

Joe Hicks

Sumiton Christian

Batting: .423 average, .521 OBP, 32 runs, 34 RBIs, 13 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 8 SBs 

Pitching: 5-4 record, 2.75 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 108 Ks in 56 innings

———

Pitcher of Year

C.J. Hall

Oakman

 Pitching: 7-5 record, 1.04 ERA, 0.80 WHIP,

87 Ks in 67.3 innings

———

Coach of Year

Lance Blair

Sumiton Christian

23-12 record, 

Class 1A quarterfinals

—————

Eagle Elite  First Team


Pitchers

C.J. Hall - Oakman

Chase Cross - Jasper


Catcher

Slade Harbin - Jasper


First Base

Joe Hicks - SC


Infield

Cam Robinson - Jasper

Austin Ivie - Carbon Hill


Third Base

JonDawson Tittle - Oakman


Outfield

Zac Durham - Jasper

Dylan Norris - Oakman

Peyton Alexander - SC

Kaden Shelton - Jasper


Utility

Andrew Tubbs - SC


Designated Hitters

Luke McDonald - SC

Caleb Dunagan - Curry

—————

Eagle Elite  Second Team


Pitcher

Isaiah Wright - SC


Catcher

Stewart Waldrop - Meek


First Base

Colby Drummond - Corner


Infield

Parker Anderson - Curry

Tanner Earnest - Dora


Third Base

Jarrett McLain - SC


Outfield

Noah Roberts - Dora

Zac Bozeman - Cordova

Landon Bice - Carbon Hill


Utility

Jon Avery - Oakman

Will Herring - Jasper


Designated Hitter

Jaymon Parker - Dora  

—————

Eagle Elite Honorable Mention


Addison — Bryant Ridgeway and Hayden Lee


Carbon Hill — Zach Phillips


Cordova — Noah Samples


Corner — Cooper Norris and Brayden Rowe 


Curry — Tanner Rowe, Luke Smith and Cody Dunagan


Dora — Tyler Goodwin, Tanner Earnest and Boone Martin


Meek — Luke Sherer


Oakman — Sawyer Thompson and Cristian Lopez


Winston County — Ethan Moore