Most Valuable Player
Yoakum's Riley Boening was named the MVP of the 2005 Advocate All-Area Baseball Team.
Riley Boening's performance in Yoakum's Class 3A state semifinal game was nothing short of phenomenal.
Boening overcame the stifling heat and humidity and limited a Lubbock Cooper team averaging over 11 runs per game during the playoffs to four hits, two of which didn't leave the infield, and struck out 15, one short of a Class 3A state tournament record.
But Boening does not have fond memories of his first appearance at Disch-Falk Field in Austin, as Yoakum came up on the short end of a 1-0 decision.
"I would have liked to win state," Boening said. "It's the little things that make such a big difference. It hurts knowing you could have and should have won it."
Boening won almost every time he took the mound during his senior season. The left-hander had a 12-1 record and three saves to go along with a 0.36 earned run average. Boening yielded 24 hits - only three were for extra bases (doubles) - and 32 bases on balls, while hitting seven batters in 77.2 innings. Opposing batters hit .081 against him and he finished the season with an area- best 188 strikeouts.
When Boening wasn't pitching, he played first base for the Bulldogs and had a .370 average with seven home runs, two triples, 11 doubles, and 33 RBIs.
Boening will play for Kyle Chapman, a select team out of Houston, this summer before returning to Austin to pitch for the University of Texas next season.
Boening not only leaves Yoakum as a unanimous pick for the Most Valuable Player in District 26-3A for the second straight year, he was also selected as the MVP on the Victoria Advocate's All-Area Baseball Team for the second consecutive season.
"I knew I had the tools to do well," Boening said. "I just had to stay focused and take it batter by batter."
Boening started at forward on the Yoakum basketball team, which advanced to the regional semifinals, and he began the baseball season almost a month late. But it didn't take long for Boening to find his rhythm on the mound or at the plate.
"You're looking at a long season," Yoakum coach Jace Wood said. "He had such a great year playing basketball. Of course, he was throwing during that time, but starting late may have actually helped him. He missed four games and a couple of tournaments and that kind of helped save his arm."
Boening made up for lost time by winning all five of his district starts and took a 4-0 playoff record and 0.27 postseason ERA into the state semifinal game.
"I was a little nervous," Boening said of pitching at Disch-Falk Field. "I had quite a bit of adrenaline running. I thought about pitching there a little bit during the week. Once I got there, it was OK."
Boening was not OK with the result of the semifinal game, which came as no surprise to Wood.
"The thing about Riley is he's such a great competitor," Wood said. "He thrives on that. He's just a great pitcher. He has good movement on the ball and he throws several pitches. He can pretty much put it where he wants to."
Coach of the Year
Yoakum played well enough to reach the state tournament for the first time since 2000 and the second time in the school's history. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 31-4 record leading to Wood's selection as Coach of the Year.
"We had a lot of shoes to fill from last year," Wood said. "We knew our pitching would be steady but our defense was a big thing. Cory (Baros) coming through at shortstop was huge. We had to find people to play positions when Travis (Starling) and Riley pitched. Our outfield also had a lot of question marks. Our outfielders had to hit. Jace Braden and Brandon Renken did that for us. I'm very proud of these guys. They competed well."
Newcomer of the Year
Hallettsville coach Jim Appelt knew Justin Barnes could compete on the varsity level and did not hesitate to play the sophomore at a number of positions.
"I just recognized that he had a lot of ability," Appelt said. "I thought he could be a pitcher for us more than anything. He was a big part of our team. He helped us a whole lot."
Barnes pitched, played first base, the outfield, and was used as the Brahmas' designated hitter and was chosen as the Newcomer of the Year.
Barnes had a 4-1 record with one save and a 4.00 ERA. He pitched 28 innings and had 47 strikeouts. Barnes hit .306 with two triples, five doubles, and 14 RBIs. He also scored 19 runs and was successful on all eight of his stolen base attempts as Hallettsville advanced to the area playoffs.
"He's pretty versatile. He's able to play all those spots," Appelt said. "He also swings the bat real well. He always seems to put the bat on the ball. He puts the ball in play and doesn't strike out that much. He's got some power and I think the home runs will start to come with experience."
All-Area Team Player Selections
Yoakum placed three players on the first team, while Schulenburg, Weimar, and Shiner each had two players selected.
Yoakum's Starling was chosen at pitcher after compiling a 10-2 record with two saves and a 1.12 ERA. Starling had 137 strikeouts in 87.2 innings.
Yoakum's Braden hit .432 with eight home runs, eleven doubles, and 40 RBIs. Braden scored 40 runs and had six stolen bases and was selected in the outfield.
Yoakum's Craig Cook was picked at second base. Cook hit .364 with one home run, five doubles, and 17 RBIs. He scored 44 runs and had 10 stolen bases.
Schulenburg's run to the Class 2A regional final was sparked by the performance of Jarad Trojacek and Jason Cummins. Trojacek was selected as a utility player and Cummins was chosen at designated hitter.
Trojacek hit .470 with three home runs, 13 doubles, and 40 RBIs. He also pitched and had a 10-3 record with a 2.21 ERA. Trojacek had 75 strikeouts in 70.1 innings. Cummins hit .328 with six home runs, all of which came during the playoffs, two triples, five doubles, and 30 RBIs.
Scott Shimek and Chris Baer led Shiner's drive for a second consecutive Class 1A state title, which ended in the regional semifinals against eventual state champion Thorndale. Shimek was selected at pitcher and Baer was picked at catcher.
Shimek had a 13-2 record with a 1.41 ERA and was second in the area with 166 strikeouts in 84.1 innings. Baer, who returned to catcher after playing the outfield last season, hit .372 with one home run, four triples, four doubles, and 19 RBIs. He also scored 41 runs and had 16 stolen bases.
Weimar's Shane Janecka and Willie Janecka led the Wildcats to the Class 2A regional quarterfinals. Shane Janecka was chosen at pitcher and Willie Janecka was selected at first base.
Shane Janecka had an 8-2 record with a 1.50 ERA and pitched a five-inning perfect game against Schulenburg. He had 95 strikeouts in 70 innings. Willie Janecka hit .446 with two home runs, eight doubles, and 27 RBIs. He also scored 24 runs.
Yorktown's Brett Gips was the other first-team pitcher. Gips had a 9-3 record, one save, and a 0.89 ERA. He had 147 strikeouts in 71 innings.
The first-team third baseman was Ryan Daniels of St. Joseph. Daniels, who has signed with Blinn College, hit .427 with five home runs and 30 RBIs. He also scored 25 runs.
El Campo's Cody Poncik was the first-team shortstop. Poncik hit .507 with four home runs, four triples, seven doubles, and 21 RBIs. He also scored 26 runs.
Hallettsville's Jason Etzler and Wharton's Joel Ansley were picked for the first-team outfield. Etzler hit .449 and had 27 RBIs, while scoring 27 runs. Etzler had 44 hits and struck out only four times all season. Ansley hit .367 with one home run, three triples, six doubles and 16 RBIs. Ansley scored 31 runs and had 21 stolen bases. Defensively, Ansley did not commit an error and had four assists.
East Bernard's Kyle Koenig was a first-team selection as a utility player. Koenig played shortstop and pitched for the Brahmas, who advanced to the Class 2A regional semifinals.
Koenig hit .557 and had 11 home runs to break Shane Lechler's school record. Koenig also had two triples, 14 doubles, and 66 RBIs, while scoring 40 runs. Koenig had a 7-2 pitching record and a 1.86 ERA. He had 83 strikeouts in 54 innings.