Coming off arguably the most successful baseball season in Lipan history, the Indians were well-represented on the All-District 10-A Team chosen by the league’s coaches.
Seven Indians were honored, led by freshman shortstop hitter Lance Ferguson as the Newcomer of the Year.
Senior Colby Clinton was named first-team pitcher and junior Trevor Hedeman was chosen first-team outfielder.
Second-teamers included junior infielders Joey McFadden and Brady Nelson and junior catcher Hunter Hightower. Freshman outfielder Kyle Mercer was honorable mention.
Ferguson burst onto the scene in thunderous fashion. He batted .704 with a pair of home runs and eight doubles.
“When he hits the baseball, it comes off the bat with a completely different sound than others,” said Lipan coach Mike Permenter.
“But anytime anybody hits .704, that’s just incredible.”
Permenter recalled one of Ferguson’s home runs that he said is perhaps the most impressive he’s ever seen. It came in a game at Jacksboro, going deep over the center-field fence against a strong wind.
“He must have hit it at least 400 feet,” said Permenter, adding that the opposing coach was so impressed that he also took time to praise Ferguson to Permenter.
Ferguson also pitched a game, getting a win and striking out 10 batters.
The Indians finished 10-7 overall and were 9-5 in district for third place. It is believed to be the most victories in a season and district in team history. It was also their first postseason appearance since 2006.
The majority of those victories were off of the arm of Clinton. He fashioned an 8-3 record and struck out 65 batters.
Hedeman hit .500 with seven extra-base hits (home run, triple, five doubles). Hightower batted .357 with a home run and three doubles, McFadden posted a .314 batting average with a pair of doubles, and Mercer hit .306 with three doubles.
A highlight to the Indians’ season was their first-ever postseason win. They outlasted Chico 11-10 in the second game of their best-of-three bidistrict series, losing in the third game.
This came just two seasons after the Indians were 0-12.
Best of all, said Permenter, the Indians return seven of nine starters next season.
“We can really build off this,” he said. “I think the future is good for Lipan baseball.”
It will not, however, include him as head coach. He took over shortly after the season began on an interim basis.
Permenter is also the principal at Lipan High School, but was formerly a coach.
“It had been 15 years since I put on a baseball uniform, but it was a lot of fun,” he said.
“They really were a joy to coach.”
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All-District 10-A Baseball Team
Newcomer of the Year
SS Lance Ferguson, fr.
P Colby Clinton, sr.; OF Trevor Hedeman, jr.
IF Joey McFadden, jr.; IF Brady Nelson, jr.; C Hunter Hightower, jr.
OF Kyle Mercer, fr.