The county’s seven baseball coaches have spoken: West Point’s Branson Smith is the best of the best.

The senior standout secured MVP accolades following a sensational season, while West Point’s Eli Folds (Pitcher of the Year), Hanceville’s Zach Campbell (Offensive Player of the Year) and Cold Springs’ Brodee Bartlett (Defensive Player of the Year) took home the top remaining honors following the release of the 2021 All-County Baseball Team this week.

Cold Springs’ Wesley McSwain was selected Coach of the Year after guiding the Eagles to the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.

See below for capsules on each honoree, as well as the complete All-County Baseball Team.


Most Valuable Player

Name: Branson Smith

School: West Point

Class: Senior

Highlights: Compiled a 6-4 record with 43 strikeouts, a 2.28 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 64 1/3 innings pitched. Compiled a .289 batting average and .361 on-base percentage with 36 hits, 33 runs, 18 RBIs, 14 stolen bases, 12 walks and eight doubles.

Coach Speak: “Branson worked extremely hard for us. Going back to his freshman season, the amount of time he put in and how he went about his business — he turned himself into a great ball player. He was a catalyst for us on the mound, offensively and defensively. He was a spark plug and made a lot of big plays.” — West Point’s Drew Bryson


Pitcher of the Year

Name: Eli Folds

School: West Point

Class: Junior 

Highlights: Compiled a 6-3 record with 74 strikeouts, a 2.61 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 69 2/3 innings. Held opponents to a .189 batting average against and recorded two saves. Threw a no-hitter and a one-hitter. 

Coach Speak: “He got off to an unbelievable start last season before it shut down, but he carried it over into this season. He became our workhorse on the mound. He led us in innings and gave us good starts week in and week out. When he had the ball, we knew we had a good chance to beat who we were playing. We’re looking forward to him carrying what he did over into next season.” — West Point’s Drew Bryson


Offensive Player of the Year

Name: Zach Campbell 

School: Hanceville

Class: Sophomore

Highlights: Compiled a .481 batting average, .566 on-base percentage, .568 slugging percentage and 1.134 OPS with 39 hits, 32 runs, 23 RBIs, 11 walks, five doubles and a triple.

Coach Speak: “I think what makes Zach so good in the box is that he competes on every pitch. No matter what the count is, he wants to hit. He really stepped up this year as far as the extra work he put into baseball. If he went 5-for-5, he was still going to be on the field getting extra swings in. I’m really excited to see what he is going to do these next two years.” — Hanceville’s Michael Chandler


Defensive Player of the Year 

Name: Brodee Bartlett

School: Cold Springs

Class: Sophomore

Highlights: Committed just one error at shortstop all season for the Eagles.

Coach Speak: “He’s a great kid who works his tail off every day. His game shows what hard work can accomplish. He also reads the ball well and attacks the ball and puts himself in a good position to make plays.” — Cold Springs’ Wesley McSwain 


First Team

Pitchers

Drew Campbell, Hanceville

Bryceson Turner, Fairview

Deacon Samples, Vinemont

Brodi Williams, Cold Springs

 

Infielders

Aubry Cleghorn, West Point

Roberto Ayala, Cold Springs

Brody Hogeland, Fairview

Andy Light, Holly Pond

Lane Speegle, Good Hope

 

Outfielders

Will Cochran, West Point

Adam Cooper, Hanceville

Carter Thornton, West Point

 

Utility

Crimson Wright, Fairview


Second Team

Pitchers

Cody Bales, Cold Springs

Mason McKinney, Vinemont

Braxton Marshall, Good Hope

 

Infielders

Seth Whiting, Holly Pond

Barrett Hardin, Hanceville

Levi Garner, Fairview

Dalton Payne, Fairview

Charlie Huddleston, Holly Pond

 

Outfielders

Austin Riddle, Vinemont

Caleb Rusk, Good Hope

Paydon Bagwell, Good Hope

Ayden Alexander, Cold Springs

Collin Teichmiller, Vinemont

 

Designated Hitter

Parker Martin, Fairview

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