The Muenster Hornets came up a win short of their ultimate goal of back-to-back Class 2A state championships with a loss to Dallardsville Big Sandy at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, but they were still well represented in the UIL state all-tournament team and Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
The Hornets had four players named to the team, starting with catcher Carson Cheaney. Shortstop Clay Stevens, outfielders Kagen Dangelmayr and Carson Trubenbach rounded out the team.
In the THSBCA all-state selections, Dangelmayr was named to the first team while Stevens was named to the second team and Stetson McGrew was selected to the second team.
Head coach Josh Wheeler was not pleased with the omissions of the all-state selections.
“I put up five players and four were deserving,” Wheeler said. “Stetson made second team all-state and he was 12-0 with a .74 earned run average, which means he gave up less than a run a game. He also pitched a three-hit shutout in the state semifinal. He ought to be a first-team pitcher.”
Wheeler also wasn’t happy that Cheaney was left off the all-state team.
“Kagen Dangelmayr fully deserved a first-team outfielder,” Wheeler said. “He had that good of numbers. He hit above .400, scored a lot of runs and stole a lot of bases. Clay made second team as a shortstop. He hit .505 and in my opinion he’s a first teamer. Carson Cheaney didn’t get anything, so I wasn’t too happy about that.”
With a perfect District 10-2A record, the Hornets dominated the all-district selections with Stevens taking MVP, Cheaney taking offensive player of the year and Trubenbach claiming defensive player of the year.
“Clay is the best hitter I’ve ever coached, by far,” Wheeler said. “He squares balls up all the time. He had a big ground-rule double off a 90-92 mph pitcher in the state semifinal game. We’re going to miss him a lot. We’re going to miss all seven of the seniors, who were a big part of our program. We have a lot to replace.”
McGrew was named as a first-team pitcher, while his brother Parker McGrew was named as a first-team third baseman. Garrett Bindel was a first-team second baseman and Brandon Sicking was a first-team first baseman.
Dangelmayr took first-team outfielder with Danny Luttmer being named to the second-team outfield.
Jonathan Wheeler was also an honorable mention.
Stevens, Trubenbach and Stetson McGrew were all named as academic all-district selections.
The Hornets were undefeated through two years of playoffs until they lost to 13-3 to Big Sandy and Wheeler said he felt plenty of pain initially, but has since come around and realized how great of a two-year run they had.
“We’ve got really good players,” Wheeler said. “We’ve won 68 games in two years, which doesn’t happen very much. It’s a tremendous feat for anybody at any level. We’re 19-1 in the playoffs, which is a good record. The kids deserve it. We’ve been blessed with good players and in my opinion two good coaches.”
The Hornets went 10-0 last season in the playoffs and 9-1 this season.
Still, the way the Hornets lost, a 13-3 run rule, was a tough pill to swallow for Wheeler and the Hornets.
“It was definitely a downer the way we played, which was bad,” Wheeler said. “We walked about 12 and made about five errors. It’s something we haven’t done all year. The most runs we’ve given up all year was eight. I may have been more depressed if we had lost 4-3, but I’d feel better about it. It’s a bad feeling in your stomach. You wish you would have had a series of three games.”
Despite falling in the title game, Wheeler said the 2-0 win over Woden was one of the best games he’s ever been a part of.
“There were six combined hits at Stetson pitched a shutout,” Wheeler said. “We faced a guy that was throwing 90-92 miles per hour and we found a way to beat those guys. We played the perfect game. Maybe we put all of our energy in that game and then relaxed. I don’t know.”
Moving into next season, the Hornets will be losing seven seniors. Wheeler said he feels confident about the team’s pitching and defense, but recognizes that they will need to work on their offensive game.
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip