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          Front Page




Prep Baseball: Trojans' Sanchez, Panthers' Carl Honored

By Ken Sickenger
Journal Staff Writer
    To the winners may go the all-state spoils— but not necessarily the player-of-the-year honors.
    Championship teams were well-represented on the New Mexico All-State baseball rosters compiled this week by voting members of the high school baseball coaches association. Not surprisingly, all five championship teams had first-team selections.
    However, just two of the five players of the year in their classification were on title-winning squads.
    Mayfield's Gera Sanchez and Piedra Vista's Edwin Carl, for example, were voted the respective Class 5A and 4A players of the year. Neither pitcher won a championship ring, though their teams almost certainly would not have finished as well without them.
    Sanchez (10-0) pitched the Trojans to the 5A semifinals; Carl helped the Panthers to a 4A runner-up finish. Carl tossed a three-hitter and struck out 11 to help Piedra Vista stop Albuquerque Academy in the semifinals. He was a first-team pick at pitcher and outfield.
    "He definitely looked like the player of the year against us," Chargers coach Kevin Andersh said. "He was impressive."
    Class 4A state champ Farmington had three first-team picks: Jarrad Watkins (pitcher and shortstop), Matt Smith (outfield) and Corey Imel (pitcher).
    Academy's Alex Cashman (third base) and Michael Fernandez (shortstop) made the first team, as did St. Pius' Chris Santiscoy (second base) and Matt Rivera (designated hitter). Moriarty also had first-teamers in Matt Moore (DH) and Ben Gonzales (outfield).
    Class 5A champ La Cueva had four players on the first team, three of them infielders. Jason Davidson (first base), Stephen Cotton (second base) and Richard Bohlken (shortstop) joined outfielder J.J. Muse on the squad, along with 5A coach of the year Stan McKeever.
    Eldorado, the 5A runner-up, had Jim Morgan (second base), John Ciepiela (catcher) and Chad Akenhead (outfield) on the first team. Other Albuquerque-area players on the first team were Cibola's Chris Eaton (third base), Valley's Sam Spangler (outfield) and West Mesa's Ryan Escarcega (pitcher).
    Other player-of-the-year awards went to Lovington's Manny Murillo (3A), Estancia's Daniel Candelas (2A) and Mesilla Valley's Ariel Perez (1A). Lovington and Estancia won their classes' state titles.
    Hope Christian dominated the 2A first team with four representatives: Brandon Cover (third base and pitcher), Brandon Ward-Hersee (shortstop), Kevin Gladwell (catcher) and Ryan Gladwell (outfield).