HHS baseball players Tanner Cantrell, Kolby Walker and Kyle Wilson were named to the all-SCA team. Cantrell was a first-team pick and the player of the year while Walker and Wilson were both second-team selections.

A reigning two-time all-stater, Tanner Cantrell didn’t see many pitches to hit his senior season.

But when he did, he made the most of his opportunities.

Cantrell, who hit .547 with a .663 on-base percentage, was recognized for another standout season as the South Central Association’s baseball player of the year. He is the first Houston High School player to receive the honor since Kyle Poynter in 2010.

Cantrell didn’t meet his numbers from his record-setting junior campaign when he established a new program record by batting .591 with 32 RBIs. That was mostly due to a lack of opportunities. He walked 21 times in 86 plate appearances – just under 25 percent of the time.

“He got pitched around and walked and couldn’t get in as good of a rhythm,” Hall said. “I say that, he went from .591 to .547. That’s still an unbelievable average.”

Cantrell, a first team utility selection to the all-conference team, edged Mountain Grove’s Garrett Newberry 4-3 in player of the year voting.

“I really felt like he should have gotten it last year too,” Hall said of Cantrell.

The team’s No. 3 hitter, Cantrell led the Tigers with 35 hits –– 13 more than any teammate –– and had a team-best 24 runs scored. He was second on the team with eight doubles and third with 23 RBIs. He struck out just three times in 64 at-bats.

A four-year starter at HHS, Cantrell has been a staple in the Tigers’ lineup and on the infield –– initially as a first baseman before moving to third and shortstop. He was a four-time all-SCA selection –– three times on the first team and once on the second team as a freshman –– and will be in the running for all-state honors for the third time.

He will continue his career next year at Southwest Baptist.

“You probably can’t find a player in the area who has had the type of numbers he had for a four-year career,” Hall said.

KOLBY WALKER • Second Team

Kolby Walker, a senior first baseman, concluded his career with a selection to the all-SCA second team.

Walker again had a standout season defensively with just two errors in 175 chances. His .989 fielding percentage led Houston for the second straight year.

Offensively, Walker had the best season of his career. He led the Tigers with nine doubles and tied for the team lead with 24 RBIs while batting .355 with a .449 on-base percentage.

“He had his best year production-wise by far,” Hall said. “But what we’ll miss most is the job he does over at first.”

KYLE WILSON • Second team

A first-year varsity starter, Wilson made an immediate impact for the Tigers with his bat.

The left-hander tied for the team lead with 24 RBIs while batting .328 with a .449 on-base percentage, which was second among starters.

Wilson, who was named to the all-SCA second team as an outfielder, started the season seventh in the lineup. He worked his way to the No. 5 position by the end of the year behind fellow all-conference selections Cantrell and Walker.

“He was a very pleasant surprise,” Hall said.

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