Led by Hayden Walker and Briana Martinez, the Journal today presents its final All-Metro teams of the 2018-19 school year, in baseball and softball.
BASEBALL: The first team is headlined by Walker, St. Pius’ junior left-handed pitcher.
Don’t read too much into the fact that 5A state champion Volcano Vista has just one first-teamer: Diego Cortes, a clutch junior who I’ve placed at designated hitter. The Hawks were a team built on consistently productive players up and down the lineup.
Cleveland’s Treston Shallenberger, a senior shortstop, was possibly the 5A offensive MVP. There were three stellar shortstop choices, including Cortes and St. Pius’ Grant Smith, who is the second-team SS.
Second baseman Damien Roddy and big-hitting sophomore outfielder Christian Hoffman also were named to the first team from Cleveland.
No 5A program had a better crop of juniors than Rio Rancho, and the Rams have three of them on the first team in catcher Clayton Kempski, outfielder Ethan Silcox and third baseman Noah Brewer.
St. Pius’ the 4A, state champ, also put first baseman Josh Lackner on the first team, which is rounded out by Albuquerque High outfielder Ryan Romero and Rio Grande’s Adam Sanchez as our do-it-all utility guy.
SOFTBALL: There were some incredible power numbers posted this year by Class 5A state champion Rio Rancho, which garnered five of the 22 slots – more than any other school.
On the first team, that includes the Gatorade Player of the Year, senior shortstop and future Lobo Briana Martinez, outfielder Brianna Gallegos, who this spring tied the state’s single-season home run record with 19, and third baseman Kendra Levesque.
Most ominously for the rest of 5A, four of the five Rio Rancho girls on the All-Metro team are juniors, including second-teamers Savana Martinez and Jessie Garcia.
There are three repeat first-team selections from 2018: Briana Martinez, Volcano Vista outfielder Bella Mendoza and Eldorado third baseman Ramsay Lopez, slotted in as the designated player.
In a very tight competition for first-team pitcher, I’ve given the nod to Volcano Vista’s Emily Dix, who had a terrific season in the circle and in the batter’s box.
Volcano Vista is also represented on the first team by first baseman Trish Gallardo and second baseman Alyssa Rosales. Cibola’s two stud seniors, catcher Abigail Marquis and Sydney Muniz (my utility player), are also members of the first team.
The final first-teamer is Albuquerque High senior Azalea Martinez, the District 5-5A player of the year, the Bulldogs’ top pitcher and a terrific stick with a .605 average.