WAXAHACHIE — With the sting that came from falling three wins short of a trip to Round Rock for the 5A state baseball championship tournament beginning to subside, 11 Indians and their head coach earned a few tips of the cap for being the top team in District 10-5A.
In his 10th season as the Indian skipper, Tracy Wood led the Waxahachie ballclub to its first district championship since 2008, fourth regional semifinal appearance during his tenure and a 28-8 overall record. He was also named the District 10-5A Coach of the Year — further proving that small ball can win baseball games and superlatives.
Levi David and Trey Thompson were also superlative recipients for the Indians, receiving nods from the other coaches in the district as the District 10-5A Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively.
It is important to note that coaches cannot vote for their own players for superlatives or placement on the all-district teams. A coach can nominate his player for recognition but, from there, the award is in the hands of those in the opposing dugouts or coaching boxes.
10-5A FIRST TEAM ALL-DISTRICT
Jackson Leath, Sr, Pitcher
Jackson Leath was a bulldog on the mound for the Indians in 2017 and joins three other starting pitchers on the 10-5A first team All-District staff.
Leath finished the district season with an unblemished 5-0 record after striking out 32 batters over his 31.1 IP. He issued seven walks and allowed eight earned runs over his five starts for a 1.78 ERA.
“I am just now finding out that Jackson was a little bit injured this year but just kind of gutted it out and stuck with it,” Wood said. “He is a tough kid and Jackson is the ultimate team kid. He is exactly what we ask kids to be — team first and me second – and Jackson is exactly that kid.”
On the season, Leath went 10-1 with a 2.18 ERA and 60 strikeouts over 64.1 IP.
After leading the team in batting practice home runs, Leath finished the season with one RBI (in a scrimmage) and one really, really high fly out against Dallas Molina in the UIL 5A Area Championship.
Leath has committed to continue his baseball career at Blinn College.
Cory Woodhouse, Sr, Closer
Wood frequently referred to the decision to bring Cory Woodhouse on in relief during a tight game as a “no brainer.” The decision for district coaches to select Woodhouse as the 10-5A first team All-District closer was much of the same.
“He was our safety blanket all year,” Wood said. “[…] He is just such a strike thrower and it is like he is playing catch. It is almost like when you are a little kid and you got that pitch-back where it throws it back to you. He worked really fast and was totally opposite of anything else we threw. Levi was really slow. Jackson was a little bit slow. But, then when Cory came in, it was like ‘OK, give me the ball and let’s go.’ Really and truly, I don’t know that we had anyone more important than Cory in our whole program this year.”
Woodhouse finished the district season with four saves — more than any other reliever in the district. He carried a 1.69 ERA through district play with a 17:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 16.2 IP. On the season he picked up three wins over his 40.1 IP while striking out 49 and walking nine.
Woodhouse will continue his baseball career at West Texas A&M University.
Peyton Graham, Soph, Second Base
If future plans pan out, this year will be a one-and-done for Peyton Graham as a District 10-5A first-team second baseman after the sophomore carried a .366 batting average through district.
According to Wood, Graham was informed during exit interviews that he will move over to fill the void left by senior Trevin Robinson at shortstop for the Indians in 2018.
"I think he is going to be really good over there,” Wood said. “[…] Peyton is a great hitter and, I tell you what, he is a little bit goofy but he sure is talented and I think that is kind of the key for him because nothing ever seems like a big deal to him. He just shows up and plays baseball.”
Graham drove in seven runs and scored 11 while walking six times during district. He also slugged four doubles for a .366/.545/.419 slash.
Graham finished the season with seven doubles and 13 RBIs.
Ryan Allen, Jr, First Base
After occupying a spot in the middle of the order for most of the season for the Indians, junior first baseman Ryan Allen was selected to the 10-5A All-District first team for 2017.
Allen finished district play with a .345 BA and 0.517 OBP. He also drove in nine runs and scored three with five walks to three strikeouts.
“He is a really good hitter with great hands, and really played the game well with his hands. He did a great job for us this year and has a really high baseball IQ,” Wood said. “Ryan is an Indian all the way. There was never a doubt about if he was playing for the team or not and he is going to be one of those core guys for us next year.”
Allen drove in 21 runs this season with three doubles and 21 hits in 67 at-bats (.313 BA).
Alec Sanchez, Sr, Outfield
At least seven-out-of-ten optometrist would probably agree that the number of eye-black tubes Alec Sanchez went through during 2017 did not, in fact, substantially decrease the glare cast by the on-field lights or minimal sunlight.
But seven out of ten times he stepped into a batters box during district play the opposing pitcher was left still unsure of how to keep the senior outfielder off the base paths. In his 40-district plate appearances, Sanchez reached base 28 times — 13 times via a hit and 15 free passes — for a staggering .700 on-base percentage.
“Alec has really come into his own this year and I thought he was a great leader for us. He was a great team kid and coming into the year I kind of challenged him on that, about being a team guy and leading us. I would send him a text that just said ‘lead us,’” Wood explained. “He is another kid with a high baseball IQ and I am certainly going to be rooting for Alex as he goes down the road to play. We are going to miss him, for sure.”
Sanchez scored 14 runs during the district slate and struck out six times. He finished with a .325/.700/.421 slash. On the season, Sanchez drove in 14 runs while scoring 25 more. He also slugged five doubles, led the team with four triples and sent two balls into the metaphorical-seats beyond the outfield fence.
Sanchez will play baseball at Blinn College in 2018.
10-5A SECOND TEAM ALL-DISTRICT
Joey Trevino, Jr, Outfield
Sage Hampton, Soph, DH
Headed into 2018, head coach Tracy Wood said he is confident in the core group returning, which includes 10-5A second team All-District selections, Joey Trevino and Sage Hampton. The two are projected to man left and right fields next year, respectively.
“They are two more of our cornerstones that will be bringing back alongside PG (Graham) and Ryan (Allen),” Wood said. “I have talked to those guys about that and told them that they are going to be the backbone of what we do. I think we have a great start next year with those four guys. I think both of these guys are going to be really good players when it’s all said and done.”
Trevino led the Indians with a 1.048 OPS (on-base plus slugging) this season after he accounted for 10 doubles, one triple and one home run with 22 RBIs and 22 runs scored. He also drew 14 walks while striking out 19 times. During district play, the left fielder carried a .831 OPS with two doubles and six base-on-balls to go with six RBIs and seven runs scored.
Hampton hit .270 during 10-5A action with a double, eight RBIs and seven runs scored. He also drew four walks in 37 at-bats.
10-5A HONORABLE MENTIONS
Trevin Robinson, Sr, Shortstop
Trevin Robinson fell into a bit of a midseason slump after blazing through tournament play but bounced back to finish strong en route to a 10-5A All-District honorable mention nod.
The Indian shortstop hit .244 with a .463 OBP during district games and added 12 runs scored to his pair of doubles, one triple and four RBIs. Robinson also launched an opposite-field home run to help the Indians clinch an area championship win against Dallas Molina.
“Trevin started it out swinging it like a ball of fire, but then his average fell off a little bit,” Wood said. “He was really good for us defensively and is another one of those guys who is straight team and a good teammate. He was really good for us as we moved down the road.”
Robinson will continue his baseball career at Redlands Community College.
Tyler Navarro, Sr, Third base
One year after receiving a nod as an all-district pitcher for the Indians, Tyler Navarro suffered a minor arm injury and had his role, in a sense, reduced to everyday third base duties. His efforts on the hot corner were rewarded with a District 10-5A honorable mention.
Navarro slugged a pair of doubles and drove in five runs during the district season. Overall, the senior had four doubles, 13 RBIs and nine runs scored.
“Ty is the epitome of what we ask for a kid to do. Ty was an all-district pitcher last year and, truth be known, he was never healthy this year, arm wise. I just don’t think he was ever really healthy in a game that we played and he never complained one time,” Wood said. “He was the ultimate team kid and if I could use an example of what kind of players we are looking for in our program, Ty Navarro would be that kid.”
Navarro has committed to play baseball at Northeast Texas Community College.