Tanner Cantrell never batted below .400 in his four-year career at Houston and twice hit well over .500. Coach Brent Hall said his success wasn’t accidental.
“I don’t think a lot of people know how many hours that kid has put in swinging the bat,” he said. “Not just in Houston. He spent a lot of time building his swing. It wasn’t a coincidence that he hit like he did.”
The 2015 South Central Association player of the year, Cantrell recently received the top honor in his sport. Again.
Cantrell, a senior third baseman, was named to the first team of the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team. It’s the third time Cantrell has received the honor.
Owner of the highest batting average in the history of the HHS baseball program – he hit .591 his junior season – Cantrell concluded his career with three all-state selections, four all-conference picks and an impressive offensive resume.
Cantrell hit .412, .471, .591 and .547 his four seasons with the Tigers.
“He is probably the most prolific hitter we’ve had come through Houston,” Hall said.
Cantrell’s numbers dipped slightly his senior campaign following his record-setting 2014. But he still hit .547 with an .663 on-base percentage while leading Houston in hits (35) and runs scored (24).
The Southwest Baptist University signee walked 21 times in 86 plate appearances – many of them intentional passes. When he did see pitches, Cantrell produced. He knocked in 23 runs, had 12 extra-base hits and only struck out three times in 64 at-bats.
“He just didn’t miss pitches. If the ball was over the middle of the plate, he got the barrel on it,” Hall said. “A lot of guys foul pitches off or swing through them. He very rarely did that.”
Area players joining Cantrell, who was named to the team as an infielder, on the Class 3 MHSBCA all-state team were:
- Cale Corman, first team catcher, Mountain View-Liberty.
- Lane Duncan, first team DH/utility, Licking.
- Garrett Newberry, second team pitcher, Mountain Grove.
- Austin Satterfield, second team infield, Licking.
- Colton Brown, second team infield, Mountain Grove.
- Jacob Mitchell, honorable mention, DH, utility, Mountain Grove.