The Hobbs baseball team might have fallen one win short in its goal to win a state championship, but the Eagles picked up plenty of postseason honors for their efforts.
The Eagles had seven players named First-Team All-District. They also had one player named second-team and two players named Honorable Mention. Hobbs was also honored with the Coach of the Year.
Among the Eagles’ team accomplishments this past season, they were the only team in Class 5A to win 20 games, they made it to the state championship game for the first time in 40 years, and they got skipper Marco Boyle his 200th career victory, in a comeback win over rival Carlsbad.
“I thought they had a pretty good season. I know it didn’t end quite like they wanted to, but it just all came down to execution,” Boyle said. “I am very proud of those guys, for everything they have done for the program. One of the things we always talk about is leaving a lasting legacy and they certainly have done that. They have gone further than any other team that we have had. They have accomplished a lot more than a lot of our teams have had. I can’t remember when we had a 20-win season, if we have had one. They have made some great accomplishments and I am very proud of them.”
As for the postseason honors, the Eagles middle infield, entire outfield, and two pitchers were named First-Team All-District.
“It is unbelievable how well they played this year,” the Eagles’ skipper said. “We had spurts where we hit very good and for the most part defensively we were very solid. And, we got great pitching performances from our pitchers.”
Brevin McCool, the Eagles’ shortstop, and Bernie Socarras-Puig, the Eagles’ second baseman, were the middle infielders. McCool led the Eagles in batting average (.515), home runs (four), doubles (seven), RBI (33), and runs scored (27). McCool also walked 14 times.
As for Socarras-Puig, he finished with a .333 batting average. He had one homer, and it was a big one, helping the Eagles rally back to beat Carlsbad and give coach Boyle his 200th victory. Socarras-Puig also had three doubles, three triples, and 10 RBI along with 15 runs scored, 13 walks, and nine stolen bases.
The Eagles’ outfield consisted of Caleb Salmon, Hunter Wright, and JD Parada.
Wright led the Eagles in free passes (16) and stolen bases (13). He was second in runs (25). Wright had three doubles, one triple, 15 runs, three doubles, 11 RBI and 25 runs scored.
Salmon had a team-high six triples. He was second in RBI
(26) and home runs (three). He also hit .397 with three doubles and 15 runs scored.
Parada hit .333 with 15 RBI and 20 runs scored. He was tied for second in doubles with four. He stole six bases, was hit by a pitch six times, and had two triples.
As for the Eagle hurlers, they were Colton Graham and Zak McPeters.
Graham was 5-0 with a 2.079 ERA. He had 42 strikeouts in 33.2 innings of work. Graham started seven games. He threw a no-hitter and pitched a complete game in the Class 5A quarterfinal win over Carlsbad.
McPeters was 7-0 with one save and a 1.098 ERA. He threw a team-high 51 innings over 11 games, six of which were starts. He struck out 43 batters and had a complete-game shutout in the Eagles’ Class 5A semifinal win over Sandia.
“Zak McPeters really came on and he grew and came of age this year,” Boyle said. “I am looking for him to do some great things next year. Colton Graham, we knew he was going to be good and he lived up to the billing for sure.”
The Eagles had one player named to the second team, Kenyon Singleton, the catcher. Singleton hit .250 with four doubles and two triples. He scored 11 and drove in 11.
Eryk McNabb, an outfielder, and Marcos Aldrete, an infielder, were the Eagles two Honorable Mentions.
McNabb was hit by a pitch a team-leading nine times and was tied for second in doubles with four. McNabb hit .313 with two triples, 12 walks, and six stolen bases. Aldrete hit .375 with seven RBI and six runs scored, and one double.
Additionally, the Eagles had three players earn Academic All-District. McCool finished with a 4.00 GPA while Graham’s was 3.733 and Wright’s was 3.685.
Hobbs will hold its season-ending banquet on Tuesday, July 13.
With the end of the high school sports season, all that remains for the athletes of the 2020-21 school year is the postseason awards. For the Hobbs softball team, those awards have now been released and Lady Eagles had eight players honored by District 4-5A.
Hobbs had four players named first-team and three more named second-team. The
Lady Eagles also had the district’s newcomer of the year award.
Among the Lady Eagles named to the first team were Chloe Hinojos, Kamryn Cantu, Kimber Craig, and Anaya Rodriguez.
“We got four out of the 10 we picked, so that speaks to the respect the kids got from the district coaches this year,” Hobbs skipper Dean Crossland said. “We finished second to Carlsbad and all those kids who got first team, played real well against them. (Carlsbad) coach (John) Tigert spoke real highly of them while we were doing the nominating and voting.”
In district play, Hinojos played third base for Hobbs. She hit .432 while scoring nine runs and driving in four. She had 16 hits in 37 at-bats, stole one base, and walked once.
“Chloe was probably the surprise on there,” the Lady Eagles’ skipper said. “ She kind of chugged along and got better all through the season. Kind of had an injury in centerfield, which caused us to make a couple of moves. We had to move Kamryn Cantu to center and moved Chloe to short and that ended up working really well for us, and she hit, big surprise there.”
Cantu played outfield and hit .323 for the
Lady Eagles over 31 district at-bats. She drove in 14 runs and scored 10. Of her 10 hits, she had five doubles, four home runs, a triple, along with six walks. Cantu swiped four bases for the Lady Eagles and was hit by a pitch four times.
“Just watching her play speaks for itself,” Crossland said. “She is the type who might not have the highest stats in the world, but when you needed the big hit, she got it. When you needed a base stole, she got it. When you needed someone to get on base, she got it. I think she got hit by a pitch seven times this year.”
As for Craig, she played the outfield. At the plate, she had a team-high batting average for hitters with over 30 district at-bats, of .452. Craig scored just two runs, but drove in 10. She had three doubles and three home runs along with five walks.
Rodriguez was the Lady Eagles’ designated player. She had a .323 batting average. Rodriguez scored 10 runs and led the Lady Eagles with 15 RBI. She also led the Lady Eagles in home runs during district play with five longballs. She walked twice and had one double.
The three Lady Eagles named second-team were Kamryn Harrison, Edyth Perez, and Karissa Garcia. Harrison was a catcher while Perez was an outfielder and Garcia was a designated player.
Harrison hit .342 with five doubles and two triples. She scored 10 times and knocked in 10 while walking three times.
“I pictured her two years ago being my starting centerfielder,” Crossland said. “Didn’t really know she could catch, I do now. She is a real strong defensive catcher. She is real quick with a good arm and calls a good game, when we let her do that. She is always in the same thought process that I would be in when she does call the pitches.”
Perez had a .323 batting average with five runs and five RBI. She had two doubles and three walks as well as two stolen bases.
As for Garcia, she had a .395 batting average with nine runs and 13 RBI. She had two doubles and a home run to go with four walks. In the circle, Garcia had one win with two strikeouts.
“I think in other years, she would have been first-team too,” the Lady Eagles’ skipper said. “I think we just had a lot of people log-jammed at first base. Her batting average was better than most of the first basemen. She came up clutch and led us in RBI in the district season and she pitches a little bit too.”
The Lady Eagles’ final player to be honored by the district was eighth grader Kaiya Boyle, who was named the district’s newcomer of the year. Boyle hit just .263, but scored 17 runs. She had six doubles and three RBI along with five walks and three stolen bases. She also helped out with pitching. Boyle was 3-2 with eight strikeouts in 26 innings.
“It used to be that (Newcomer of the Year) would be a freshman, but now we have so many good eighth-graders coming out, that this year, for us, Kaiya came in and took a starting position and didn’t let go,” Crossland said. “She hit well, her average wasn’t great, but her on-base percentage was super. She scored a ton of runs and made some great plays on defense. I think the big thing was she got the votes from Clovis and Roswell on her pitching ability. She stifled them. She did a real good job against those teams. She pitched three games out of four against them. She did a real good job.”
Amongst the Lady Eagles, Amaya Contreras was named the Lady Eagle of the Year. Cantu picked up the team’s Offensive Player of the Year award while Perez was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Hannah Souter was honored with the Most Improved Player and Harrison was named the team’s MVP.