Parklane pitcher leads All-Area Team

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 27, 2005

Parklane Academy’s Jeremy Wallace, Lawrence County’s JonathanStephens and Wesson’s Corey Puckett excelled on the baseball fieldand helped their respective teams to winning seasons and stateplayoff appearances in 2005.

Wallace, a right-handed pitcher with a 9-1 record, finished theseason at Parklane with an 0.46 ERA. He struck out 83 batters andwalked 28 and allowed only four earned runs in 61 inningspitched.

At the plate, Wallace held a .364 batting average with 43 RBIs,plus 6 home runs and 12 stolen bases. He also played centerfield.

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For his accomplishments, Wallace has been named Mr. Baseball andthe Most Valuable Player on The DAILY LEADER’s 2005 All-Areabaseball team.

Stephens is the Offensive Player of the Year and Puckett is theDefensive Player of the Year .

The dream team is composed of players outside of Lincoln County.The players were selected by members of the DL staff withinput provided by high school and college coaches.

Joining Wallace on the mound are Puckett of Wesson and TrentHartzog of Lawrence County.

Behind the plate are Tyler Broome of Wesson, Justin Hay ofMcComb and Jake Russell of Lawrence County.

Making up the infield are Joseph Evans of Lawrence County,Michael Watts of Parklane, Wade Williams of Wesson and Chase Coonof North Pike.

In the outfield are Jasper O’Quinn of Franklin County, WarrenSmith of Parklane, Michael Thompson of Lawrence County and LandonMorgan of North Pike.

The designated hitters is Jonathan Stephens of LawrenceCounty.

Jeremy Lofton of North Pike and Taebyus Smith of Lawrence Countyare the utility players.

Wallace threw a 1-hitter in a 5-0 win over Jackson Prep in theAAA state championship series.

“Jeremy creates a lot of power from a small body,” explainedParklane Academy head baseball coach Ken Jackson of his star’spitching ability. “He loves the game. He plays it the way it shouldbe played. He is an all-around good hitter. He can go to theopposite field. He has never got rattled by the pressure.”

Wallace has signed a baseball scholarship with the SouthwestCommunity College Bears.

Jonathan Stephens batted .437 with 45 hits, 5homers, 38 RBI, 8 doubles, 3 triples, and stole 10 bases forLawrence County. Stephens played in the outfielder.

“Jonathan has a good work ethic,” said Lawrence County headcoach Corey Keys, the 2005 Area Coach of the Year. “He has alwaysbeen around the program. He is one we almost had to run away fromthe field as a little kid. He loves the game.”

Stephens was 3-0 on the mound with a 2.47 ERA during his junioryear at pitcher for Lawrence County.

Corey Puckett excelled on the mound his junioryear for Wesson. Puckett’s final record was 10-1 with a 2.08 ERA in64 innings pitched. In the regular season, Puckett was 9-0 with1.82 ERA in 50 innings with 37 strikeouts.

“Corey is an off-speed pitcher,” said Wesson head baseball coachHugh Knight. “He’s getting better. He doesn’t really have anoverpowering fastball.” During the summer, Knight said Puckett hasbeen clocked in the low 80’s.

“He’s maturing,” added Knight.”He’s still learning aboutlocation. He needs to work on his speed and location.”

At bat, Puckett finished with a .408 average. He was also namedto the All-Region 6-2A Team.

Tyler Broome was the catcher for Knight’sCobras. Broome, a senior, had 16 throw-outs. At the plate, he helda .343 batting average, hitting with 2 triples and 27 RBI. Broomesigned with Co-Lin originally, but then signed up with the MarineCorps.

Jake Russell, a junior, was a pitcher andcatcher for Lawrence County. On the mound, Russell was 7-2 with2.20 ERA and recorded 75 strikeouts in 51 innings with 31 hitsallowed. Behind the plate, his throw-out percent was 68. At theplate, Russell batted .347 with 26 hits, 3 homers, 24 RBI and 5doubles.

Joseph Evans was a sophomore pitcher andinfielder for Lawrence County. He was 6-2 on the mound with a 2.22ERA, 63 strikeouts in 60 innings and 44 hits allowed. At bat, hewas .414 with 46 hits, 3 homers, 9 doubles and 23 singles.

Michael Watts, a senior, batted .361 at theplate with 16 doubles and 4 home runs. Wattsplayed shortstop forParklane.

Wade Williams played first base for the WessonCobras his senior year. Williams finished the season with a .350batting average and 9 doubles.

Chase Coon, a senior, played for North Pike asa pitcher and a shortstop. Coon finished with a .302 battingaverage and was 5-4 on the mound with one save. He was namedAll-Region Defensive Player of the Year.

Jasper O’Quinn, a Delta State football signeeand baseball walk-on, finished his senior year as centerfielder forFranklin County. O’Quinn was .310 at the plate with 3 doubles and11 stolen bases. He holds the school record for stolen bases with125 thefts in 4 varsity seasons.

Warren Smith batted .351 at the plate forParklane during his junior year. Smith hit 11 homers and had 43RBI.

Michael Thompson, a senior outfielder forLawrence County, batted .313 with 30 hits, 6 homers, 29 RBI and 16stolen bases. He was named to the South 4A/5A All-Star team.

Landon Morgan helped North Pike at the platewith a .470 batting average, including 8 home runs and 3 tripleshis junior year. Morgan was selected the Most Valuable Player onthe All-Region 7-3A Team.

Justin Hay, a senior, played catcher andpitcher for McComb. Hay sparked the Tigers with a .493 battingaverage, plus 2 homers and 22 RBIs. On the mound, he was 5-4 with 2saves and a 2.30 ERA. Hay has signed to play with the SouthwestBears.

Jeremy Lofton batted .517 for North Pike andplayed first base during his senior year. Lofton was namedAll-Region 7-3A Offensive Player of the year.

Taebyus Smith , a junior, finished the seasonat Lawrence County with a .402 batting average, including 39 hits,6 homers, 28 RBI, 14 doubles, 1 triple and 8 stolen bases.

Trent Hartzog was a sophomore pitcher andplayed shortstop for Lawrence County. Hartzog was 9-1 on the moundwith a 1.80 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 58 innings, with 43 hitsallowed. He batted .280 with 30 hits and 2 homers.