Victoria Advocate On-Line

2002 Advocate All-Area Baseball Team
Shiner's Cerny & Baer selected

Sunday, June 16, 2002
Mike Forman, Advocate Sports Writer Article   |   Shiner Comanche Football   |   Return to Shiner Home Page

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Most Valuable Player

J. Brent Cox didn't get a chance to watch Texas open the College World Series against Rice on Saturday night. Instead, he was pitching for the Columbia Angles select team out of Sugar Land at a tournament in Baton Rouge. La.

Cox hopes to experience the College World Series first hand when he joins the Longhorns next season.

He capped his high school career by leading Bay City to a 25-9-1 record and the Class 4A regional semifinals.

Cox was disappointed Bay City was unable to make its first state tournament appearance, but his performance secured his selection as the Most Valuable Player on the Advocate's 2002 All-Area Baseball Team.

Cox pitched and played first base for the Blackcats this season. He had a 6-4 record, one save and an earned run average of 1.41, while striking out 84 in 64-2/3 innings. He hit .333 with eight home runs, two triples, 14 doubles and 33 RBIs and had an on-base percentage of .477.

"I was pleased overall," Cox said of his senior year. "We struggled some at first, but we finally gelled as a team. We came together. But we didn't make it as far as we should have."

Cox did the best he could to get Bay City to the state tournament, earning a pitching win and hitting three home runs in the playoffs, including a grand slam against Santa Fe in the regional quarterfinals.

"I thought I pitched pretty well" Cox said. "As for my hitting, I got walked a lot (19 times in 129 plate appearances) so I had to wait for the pitches. I tried to be as patient as I could, but most of the time it didn't work."

Cox was drafted in the 50th round by the Toronto Blue Jays, but will attend Texas on a baseball scholarship.

"J. Brent going to the University of Texas is a great accomplishment for the program, himself and his family" said Bay City coach Robert Rayos. "He was the man in Bay City and everybody looked up to him. He was our sparkplug. Against Lamar Consolidated, we needed somebody to come in and shut them down and he did that for the district (24-4A) championship."

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Coach of the Year

The first goal for Shiner coach Steve Cerny was to lead his young team to the District 30-1A championship.

Once the Comanches captured the district title, they focused on bigger achievements.

Shiner never stopped improving or winning and the result was a state championship that earned Cerny Coach of the Year honors.

"The skills were there, but they just needed a lot of practice and a lot of work," said Cerny who coached Shiner to the Class 2A state title in 1992. "The ability was there. We kept everything very simple and concentrated on the basics and that's what worked for us."

Shiner struggled at the beginning of the season, but won 12 of its final 14 games to finish with a 21-10 record.

"We knew we were going to have to come into every game and battle for seven innings," Cerny said. "We talked about that all year. But these kids worked. They would go to practice and dive for balls and get after it. It was a pleasure to coach them."

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Newcomer of the Year

One of the keys to Shiner winning the state title was shifting Chris Baer from the outfield to catcher shortly before district play.

The freshman responded by hitting .341 with four triples and scoring 27 runs. He was also successful on 14 of his 15 stolen base attempts and had an on-base percentage of .536.

But most importantly, Baer was solid on defense. He committed only three errors and had a fielding percentage of .985 and was chosen as Newcomer of the Year.

"We just knew that's what we had to do," Cerny said of Baer's position change. "We knew he had the arm and everything. He had a tough row at first, but he came a long ways."

Cerny was impressed by Baer's ability to handle the pitching staff. "He definitely improved on that," Cerny said, 'A catcher has to take charge. When things weren't going well, he got a lot better about going out and talking to the pitcher."

First Team

The first-team pitching staff boasted a combined record of 55-10 and an ERA of 1.14.

Yoakum's B.J. Boening and Randy Boone led the Bulldogs to the Class 3A regional finals. Boening, a senior who was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 14th round and is considering a scholarship offer from Texas A&M, had a 12-0 record and an 0.92 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 76 innings.

Boone, a junior, was 12-1 with a 1.06 ERA with 143 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings.

Cuero senior Ray Maldonado, who has been selected to play in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game, helped Cuero advance to the Class 3A regional quarterfinals with a 12-3 record and an 1.02 ERA with 188 strikeouts in 110 innings.

Bay City got a boost from senior Buzz Vargas, who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 36th round and will attend New Mexico Junior College under a draft-and-follow agreement, had a 7-1 record, two saves and an 1.09 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings.

Weimar's third consecutive Class 2A state tournament appearance was led Kenn Kasparek. The sophomore had a 12-5 record, three saves and a 1.54 ERA with 152 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings.

The first-team catcher was El Campo junior Blake Barger, who hit .350 with two doubles and 15 RBIs.

The first-team infield was Cuero junior Josh Stirneman at first base, Yoakum junior Barry Boening at second base, Weimar junior Johnny Hadash at third base and East Bernard senior Joey Koenig at shortstop.

Stirneman had 43 hits and hit .489 with 34 RBIs. Boening hit .326 with four home runs, 10 doubles and 36 RBIs.

Hadash hit .408 with six home runs, two triples, nine doubles and 26 RBIs, while stealing 11 bases. Koenig, who will attend Wharton County Junior College, hit .593 with four home runs, six doubles and 35 RBIs.

Memorial senior Barrett Morris, Cuero senior Dustin Nichols and Bloomington junior Jared Lumpkins made up the first-team outfield.

Morris hit .406 with one home run, eight doubles and 12 RBIs. Nichols hit .379, scored 30 runs and had 11 stolen bases. Lumpkins hit .470, scored 23 runs and had 26 stolen bases.

The first-team designated hitter was St. Joseph's Randy Aguayo. The junior hit .512 with nine home runs, nine doubles and 29 RBIs and also stole nine bases.

Shiner senior Adam Dawson was the first-team utility player. Dawson hit .427 with six home runs, four triples and four doubles and had a .621 on-base percentage. Dawson also had a 12-5 pitching record, four saves and a 2.18 ERA with 173 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings.

Second Team

The second-team included Memorial's Kyle Newman, Bay City's Justin Vaclavik, Calhoun's Ajax Vickery, El Campo's Derek Treybig and Bloomington's Joe Soto at pitcher and Bay City's Drew Turner at catcher.

Bloomington first baseman John Vasquez, Bay City second baseman Trent Mathis, Yoakum third baseman Aaron Ward and Beeville shortstop Steven Vasquez made up the second-team infield.

The second-team outfield was Karnes City's John Theriot, Bay City's Adam Pointer and Gonzales' Mitchell Davis.

Bloomington's Cody Cann was the second-team designated hitter and the utility players were Shiner's Garet Pustka and Flatonia's Matt Ray.

Mike Forman is a sports writer for The Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at

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