GC Baseball: Tigers dominate 14-5A All-District team

Jun. 7—Corsicana's Tigers probably would have reached the Class 5A State Tournament if not for a back injury to one of the team's top players, but before Easton Autrey was injured and the Tigers played at full strength they were clearly one of the best teams — if not the best team — in the Region.

The evidence was in their regular season results and the fact they won the District 14-5A title with one loss. Second-place Forney lost three times, including splitting a pair of games with the Tigers, winning an extra inning game to gain a split.

The Tigers dominated the District 14-5A All-District Team as Coach Heath Autrey was named the district's Coach of the Year and three players earned Superlative awards — Easton Autrey was named the Offensive Player of the Year, Adrian Baston was named Defensive Player of the Year and Connor Perkins was named Pitcher of the Year.

It was a special season for Coach Autrey, who won his 400th game before the district season even started, and then swept their way through the 14-5A field, going unbeaten until the end of the season when the Tigers lost a nine-inning game for their only blemish on an 11-1 district run. The Tigers were 24-6 before Easton Autrey suffered a back injury in the playoffs.

Autrey did one of his best coaching jobs in a stellar career of coaching, leading the youngest team he has ever had in his 13 years at Corsicana to a 24-win season, a district title and a run in the playoffs in an unforgettable season no one saw coming.

Easton Autrey is a tremendous .400 hitter who has lightning in his bat (four home runs) and patience at the plate, where he had a .583 on-base-percentage, a .693 slugging percentage and a whopping 1.276 OPS. He scored 26 runs and drove in 31 runs in 39 games. He was also half of Corsicana's 1-2 punch on the mound, going 3-0 with a save and a 1.12 ERA this season. Easton is ranked among the top 50 sophomore prospects in the nation.

Baston, a senior who is arguably the best high school leadoff hitter in Texas, hit .447 with an on-base-percentage of .552, a slugging percentage of .681 and an impressive OPS of 1.233 — all are more than outstanding numbers for a leadoff hitter.

Baston scored an mind-blowing 43 runs in the regular season and did what most leadoff hitters don't do — he drove in runs (23 RBIs) and he is a thief and a highlight tape in the outfield, running down fly balls and line drives. He hit nine triples last season and had five triples as a senior to finish with an eye-popping 14 triples in his final two high school seasons.

It was no surprise that he was selected to play in the THSBCA All-Star Baseball Game June 15 in Round Rock, the most prestigious high school baseball All-Star Game in Texas.

Perkins, is a "it's hard to believe he's a sophomore" who was brand new to Corsicana baseball, but made a name for himself immediately this season at the plate and on the mound, where he dominated the district, emerging as the ace of the staff going 9-1 in the regular season with a team-best 0.67 ERA.

He allowed just six earned runs in the regular season and opened the playoffs with a shutout to improve to 10-1. He looked ridiculously comfortable on the mound and he's a smooth glove at shortstop with a talented bat — with a .390 average, .528 on-base-percentage while slugging .519 with an over the top OPS of 1.048. He's clutch, too, and scored 28 runs while driving in 23 in the regular season.

Those three players — two sophomores and Baston — carried an incredibly young team this season. In fact, the youngest team Autrey has coached in his 13 years at Corsicana, but arguably one of his best.

Three Tigers were named to the 14-5A All-District First-Team, two made the Second-Team and sophomore Oscar Casteneda, a smooth-fielding infielder, was named to the Honorable Mention list.

Brody Dobbs was named to the First-Team as a pitcher, Josh Portillo was the 14-5A First-Team catcher and Trenton Bruton made the 14-5A First-Team as an outfielder. Blake Phillips earned Second-Team honors as a second baseman and Tiger first baseman Dylan Anderton also made the Second-Team as five Tigers made either the First or Second-Team.

The Tigers had a long list of players who earned All-Academic All-District honors. Gabe Edgar, Colton Stewart, Garret Joles, Sean Medrano, Walker Smith, Dylan Anderton, Blake Phillips, Adrian Baston and Easton Autrey were all named to the 14-5A All-Academic Team.