By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
Seven members of the Brentwood High School baseball team received all-conference honors for the season that ended in May. The selections are based on a vote of the coaches in the six schools that make up the South Central Athletic Association Conference.
Leading the way was senior Kevin Smith, who was named the conference player of the year. On the all-conference first team were senior outfielder Tyler Jones, senior utility player (outfielder and pitcher) Jesse Sneed and sophomore infielder Dylan McGehee.
Named to the second team as a utility player were senior Jake Caragher, who played infield and pitched, sophomore catcher Steven Sadler and sophomore pitcher Ryan Vogeli.
Senior Kevin Smith, pitcher, infielder
It’s turning into quite a summer for Smith. Not only was he named the conference’s player of the year, but he received a full-ride scholarship to pitch for the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He had planned to play baseball for Greenville College in Illinois before UMSL made its offer.
Also, late last month the St. Louis Post-Dispatch named him an Athlete of the Week for his performance with the South-West Stars, an 18-and-under team in the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Association (SLABA). The honor was for throwing a five-inning no-hitter, with 15 strikeouts, in a 10-0 win over the Tigers Orange, then pitching a complete game in a 4-1 victory over the American National. The back-to-back wins raised him to 5-0 with a 1.44 ERA. He is batting .403 with two home runs, 18 RBIs and a .701 slugging percentage.
This is the second season in a row that an Eagle has been named the SCAAC’s player of the year. Ryan Jones won the honor last year. As a pitcher, Smith posted a 6-3 record with a 2.79 ERA and 77 strikeouts in almost 48 innings. He also hit .523 with a slugging percentage of .769. In 65 at-bats he had only three strikeouts and led his team in runs (22) and doubles (10). His 34 hits were second only to McGehee.
Senior Tyler Jones, outfielder
Jones batted .400 with a .564 slugging percentage. He had 22 hits in 55 at-bats and led the team with 19 stolen bases and three triples. He was never thrown out while attempting to steal a base. Making the all-conference first team caps quite a year for Jones. He was first team all-district as a linebacker in football and he pinned two opponents at the state wrestling meet.
Senior Jesse Sneed, utility player
Sneed pitched Brentwood’s biggest victory of the season, the 7-3 gem over Valley Park for the district championship. He ended up 3-2 and struck out one out of every five batters he faced. He batted .377 and had the team’s second-most runs (31) and singles (23). He struck out only six times in 69 at-bats.
Sophomore Dylan McGehee, infielder
McGehee had one of the best seasons a sophomore has ever had at Brentwood High School. He led the team with a .594 batting average, a .797 slugging percentage, 41 hits, 31 singles, 32 RBI and one home run. He struck out only five times in 69 at-bats.
Senior Jake Caragher, utility player
Is there anything Jake Caragher can’t do? He started on offense, defense and special teams in football; he was a wrestler; and in baseball he batted .316 and was a starting pitcher and second baseman. On the mound he was 2-2 and recorded one save. He faced 105 batters and walked only 12 of them. As a batter he had 18 hits, including three doubles and two triples. His slugging percentage was .439.
Sophomore Ryan Vogeli, pitcher
Vogeli posted a 3-2 record on the mound and had the staff’s lowest ERA, 2.13. He struck out one of every six batters he faced. Most memorably, he threw a one-hitter against Crossroads.
Sophomore Steven Sadler, catcher
After sharing starts with Frankie Lowe last season at catcher, Sadler had the role to himself in 2012. He played solidly and was a big reason Brentwood went 15-9 and reached the state playoffs. On offense, Sadler batted .313 and had a slugging percentage of .331. His perfect bunt in the bottom of the seventh inning against Principia scored McGehee for a 9-8 victory.
Final SCAAC Standings:
Hancock, 7-1, .875
Valley Park, 7-2, .778
Brentwood, 5-2, .714
Bayless, 6-4, .600
Maplewood, 1-8, .111
Crossroads, 0-9, .000