Several local players earn All-State honors

By John Cate -

A handful of local 1A and 2A baseball players received all-state recognition from the North Carolina Baseball Coaches’ Association earlier this month. Chase Chandler and Kendal Tucker of North Surry were chosen to the NCBCA 2A All-State team, with Tyler Smith of East Surry joining Chase Vaden and Jake Chesnet of North Stokes as members of the 1A team.

The organization, which chooses an All-State team for each classification of NCHSAA baseball, announced its selections on the night of Friday, July 15.

Chandler and Tucker were both juniors in the recently completed 2016 season, in which they helped the Greyhounds to a 17-10 season and an appearance in the second round of the NCHSAA playoffs. Both players were primarily infielders for North Surry, but also saw time on the pitchers’ mound. Each player is considered a college prospect and has been active on the summer baseball circuit.

Smith, who has signed a scholarship to play for Division I East Carolina University in the spring of 2017, entered the season with numerous preseason accolades and lived up to them in helping the Cardinals to a 14-11 season.

As a senior, Smith was all-conference in football, basketball, and baseball, and nearly made a clean swaap of the Northwest 1-A Player of the Year award in all three sports. After winning it outright in football, he finished second in the voting for the basketball version of the honor, then was voted Co-Player of the Year for baseball as well.

After the season, he was named as the Surry County Male Athlete of the Year. North Stokes tied East Surry for second place in the NW1A this spring, with the Vikings slugging their way to a 17-11 overall record on the strength of a .355 team batting average. Leading this assault on local pitchers were Vaden, a senior outfielder who batted .462, and Chesnet, a junior shortstop who clubbed out a .413 average. Vaden, who signed with Division II Pfeiffer back in March, saved his best performances for the best teams in the league. In his six games against conference champ Walkertown and co-runner up East Surry, he hit safely in every game and tattooed Wolfpack and Cardinal pitching at a .550 clip (11-for-20). He also took regular turns on the mound for the Vikings, posting a 5-3 record with a 2.68 ERA.

Chesnet led the hard-hitting North Stokes team in several hitting categories, including hits (43), doubles (9), triples (5), home runs (2), and runs scored (39). His OPS of 1.109 was just slightly behind the 1.137 mark of Vaden, and he posted a 3.86 ERA in four pitching appearances.

Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.

By John Cate

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