Historic Tiger team honored
The Paris Tiger baseball team put the bow on yet another record-breaking season with an awards banquet Thursday (May 30) at Step Station.
The season officially ended with a 2-1 loss to Mattoon in the IHSA Class 3A Regionals May 24. The Green Wave handed the Tigers two of the three season losses. Teutopolis provided the other loss.
Overall, the Tigers finished with a 28-3 record, and swept the Little Illini Conference for the second consecutive season with a perfect 9-0 record. The 28 regular season victories set the school record.
Last years’ squad set the all-time win mark with 29 victories, but four of those came in the post-season.
Graduation this year is taking its toll on the Tiger roster, as 10 seniors played their last game wearing the orange and black just over a week ago.
All, or part, of this group of seniors was part of 108 varsity wins over the past four seasons. That win total also set the mark for most wins over a four-year stretch.
Overall, the Tigers have gone 108-28 since the 2015 season when these seniors were freshmen.
The varsity team was not the only squad getting accolades during the ceremony.
Junior varsity head coach Pete Dayton also recognized members of his 17-3 baseball team during the program.
Dayton praised the hard work and determination of his team and challenged them to stay the course as they move to the next level.
Winning awards at the JV level were freshman Garrett King-Pitching Award; Blayne Roberts-Defense Award; JT Johnson-Offensive Award; Justyn Allen-Most Improved and Sam Mays-Tiger Award.
Tiger Head Coach Creighton Tarr handed out awards for the varsity team.
Taking home the Pitching Award was sophomore Brock Minor, who was 4-1 record on the season in 46 innings pitched. Minor struck out 25 batters, while walking just 10. Overall, he had a 1.21 ERA to lead the Paris team.
Co-winners for the Defensive Award were Austin Littleton and Brody Spencer.
Littleton finished his stellar career as a four-year starter at the shortstop position. Opposing coaches routinely commented on the plays Littleton made and most were amazed at what they saw from the Olney Central College commit.
Spencer was behind the plate for 85 percent of the innings played this season — all while not committing an error. The senior picked off six would-be base stealers on the season while leading the Tiger pitching staff.
The Offensive Player of the year also went to Littleton.
The senior was moved to the leadoff spot this season, and responded with outstanding numbers. He finished with a .440 batting average, a .515 on-base percentage, 13 doubles and drove in 28 runs from the top of the order. He also led the team with 16 steals and scored 46 runs.
The final award of the evening was the Tiger Award. This honor was presented to senior Austin O’Neal.
O’Neal played five different positions throughout the season and finished with a 7-1 mark on the mound. He was a perfect 4-0 in LIC games during the 2018 campaign. He also scored 28 runs and finished with a .430 on-base percentage.
Seven members of this year’s team were tabbed for Little Illini All-LIC team honors.
Earning first-team honors were Austin Littleton, TJ Potter, Brock Minor and Zach Burger. Earning second-team honors were O’Neal and Jacob Gates. Raven Thompson made the honorable mention list.
Graduating seniors include Dylan Creech, TJ Potter, Austin Littleton, Austin O’Neal, Reese Sutton, Zach Burger, Raven Thompson, JB Eslinger, Matt Stetler and Brody Spencer.