Pirates land plenty on 7-4A All-District

Following in the footsteps of several successful relatives, Granbury’s Nathan Hickey was recently named the District 7-4A Pitcher of the Year by the league’s coaches.

“They’ve all been great players and great kids, and they’ve all worked hard and done great things for GHS baseball,” said Pirate head coach Brad Hart.

Nathan, a junior, is one of nine Pirates chosen to the All-District 7-4A Baseball Team. He is joined by senior pitcher Miles Wagner, sophomore second baseman Payton Rhodes, sophomore shortstop Daniel Arnett, freshman catcher Landon Gray, and senior designated hitter as first-teamers.

Senior Tyler Titus was named second-team outfield, while senior third baseman Brady Retz and freshman first baseman Tristan Fallin are honorable mentions.

“All-district is always a reflection of your season,” said Hart.
“When you’re playing good and doing what you have to do to win, it shows.”

The Pirates (17-14, 9-5 in 7-4A, third) enjoyed their best season since 2009, advancing to the area round of the playoffs.

Granbury swept 8-4A runner-up Waco University in bidistrict 1-0 and 14-3 before losing 5-2 in a single-game playoff to Wichita Falls Rider in area.

The opening game against University was a gem pitched by Hickey. He surrendered just three hits in eight innings.

Hickey fashioned a 7-3 record with a save and a 2.13 earned run average. In 75.2 innings he struck out 98 and walked 27.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve sat in the dugout during the season and charted a game and thought ‘Nobody’s going to hit this guy,’” said Hart.

Hickey and Wagner were a solid 1-2 punch for the Pirates. Wagner posted an 8-3 record with 2.02 ERA, 44 strikeouts and 22 walks in 62.1 innings.

Both were also forces at the plate, helping the Pirates to a team batting average of .343. Wagner batted .375 and led the team in triples (9) and RBIs (27), adding eight doubles. Hickey posted a .380 average with four doubles and 25 RBIs.

Arnett led the team in hitting with a .426 average. Half of his 26 hits were for extra bases (5 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs). He shared the team home run lead with Fallin and drove in 18 runs.

Arnett had two of his home runs in an 8-6 11-inning win over Fort Worth Southwest to clinch a playoff berth, the second keeping the game going in the ninth inning. Fallin ended that game with a walk-off home run.

Rhodes finished with a .362 batting average and led the team in walks (21) and runs scored (27). He also drove in 16 runs.

Gray ended his freshman season with a .326 average and 19 RBIs, while also showing patience at the plate with 17 walks and getting hit by a pitch eight times.

Bendewald hit .298 with nine RBIs.

Fallin also made a big impact as a freshman. Along with power, he fashioned a .337 average with 10 doubles and 20 RBIs.

Titus, who skipped playing baseball as a junior, came back strong as a senior to hit .386 with 10 RBIs, and led the team in getting hit by a pitch )19).

Retz was considered one of the top fielders in the district. He also drove in a dozen runs.

Aledo had the Coaching Staff of the Year. Arlington Heights had MVP Brady Cox and Newcomer of the Year Dlyan McBain. Aledo’s Zayne Willems was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Matt Wagnor of Western Hills was chosen Offensive Player of the Year.

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All-District 7-4A Baseball Team

Granbury selections

Pitcher of the Year

Nathan Hickey, jr.

First Team

P Miles Wagner, sr.; 2B Payton Rhodes, soph; SS Daniel Arnett, soph.; C Landon Gray, fr.; DH Caleb Bendewald, sr.

Second Team

OF Tyler Titus, sr.

Honorable Mention

3B Brady Retz, sr.; 1B Tristan Fallin, fr.

Academic all-district

Rhodes; Gray; Titus; Wagner; Fallin; Landon Weatherly, fr.; Harrison Campbell, sr.; Davis Shea, jr.; Kaleb Rankin, soph.; Tanner Winn, sr.; Parker Scanlan, jr.