Callaway baseball standouts recognized
The Callaway Cavaliers, whose memorable season ended with a hard-fought loss to Jeff Davis in the semifinals of the state baseball playoffs, placed five players on the all-Region 5-AA team.
One of those players is junior Justin Moore, who was named the region’s pitcher of the year.
Moore, along with Tucker Starling, was an anchor on Callaway’s staff, and he started four games in the state playoffs.
When Moore wasn’t pitching, he was a middle infielder and one of Callaway’s top hitters.
Also for Callaway, Bryce Hubbard was named the region’s newcomer of the year.
Hubbard was a starter from day one at third base, and he was one of the team’s most impactful offensive players.
Hubbard was also an effective pitcher for Callaway, and he started game three of a third-round playoff series against Thomasville.
In a dramatic 7-6 win over Pepperell, Hubbard had a two-run, two-out single in the top of the seventh inning that gave Callaway the lead.
Starling was a first-team all-region player for Callaway, and he was a pitcher and middle infielder.
In the semifinals against Jeff Davis, Starling pitched a four-hit shutout as Callaway won 4-0.
Starling also pitched five shutout innings in a 10-0 playoff win over Pepperell, and he only allowed one hit.
Outfielder Andrew Locke earned a first-team all-region selection as well.
Locke was a standout defensive player, and he was a force in the lineup.
In the 10-0 victory over Pepperell that kept Callaway’s season alive, Locke had three hits and two RBIs with two doubles.
CJ Stephens was a second-team all-region player for Callaway.
Stephens was Callaway’s second baseman, and late in the season he stepped up and filled a critical role on the mound.
In Callaway’s final game, in fact, Stephens pitched four shutout innings in a 1-0 loss to Thomasville in game three of their semifinal series.
That performance became even more noteworthy when Jeff Davis went on to sweep Lovett to win the state championship.
Senior outfielder Kaden Rogers, who is headed to LaGrange College to play baseball, is an honorable-mention selection on the all-region team.
Of the all-region players, only Rogers won’t return next season, and Stephens is hoping the experiences the players had will help them next spring.
“It was a good year,” Stephens said. “Most importantly, we’ll learn a lot from this year and we’ll come back stronger.”