Cardinals lineup littered with All-state snubs
The Harmony Grove Cardinals baseball team made history in 2019, winning the first 3A State Championship in program history.
This came after finishing with a losing record in conference play.
However, despite the accomplishments of the postseason, the Cardinals did not have one player earn All-state honors. Actually, the Cardinals did not have one player nominated for the honor.
The 5-3A is allowed four athletes to be recognized each year.
A committee of 3A coaches select the players then vote for who earns the nods.
Harmony Grove’s 2019 lineup is littered with Allstate snubs, including possibly two — or three — of the best players in the entire 3A.
Those earning the selections this year were Central Arkansas Christian ace Levi Smith, Arkansas Baptist Prep’s Nick Jones and Riley Loyd, and Mayflower’s Jordan Robinson.
I am not taking anything away from these young athletes as they all four had marvelous seasons.
However, the Cardinals possessed arguably the best pitcher in 3A in James Mccormick.
Eventually named the 3A State Tournament’s MVP, Mccormick finished the season with a sub-1 earned run average at 0.96, allowing a total of nine earned runs on the year.
He would strike out 86 hitters in 65.2 innings of work, walking 24.
Smith finished leaps and bounds behind Mccormick,
including getting knocked around against the Cardinals in the finals.
He ended his campaign with a 2.85 earned runs average, an 8-2 record with 22 earned runs given up and 71 strikeouts.
Loyd, too, was not even close to Mccormick from the hill, tallying a 2.22 ERA, but did finish with a perfect 8-0 showing, along with 71 strikeouts and 30 walks. He would also allow nine more runs than the Cardinals ace.
Doubling as a hitter and pitcher, Loyd’s showing at the plate was not impressive as he hit .244 with five RBIS and two doubles.
Speaking of hitting, the stats for All-state recipients are not even comparable to that of Harmony Grove’s Jared Toler and Connor Burrow. And you could probably toss Cooper White and Chase Chilton in the mix as well.
Toler, an Arkansas State University commit as a junior, finished with a stellar .345 average, driving home 26 runs on 30 hits while adding five home runs and eight doubles. This all came after a slow start to the year.
Burrow, though, was one of the best in all of 3A, ending with a .434 average to go along with 21 RBIS, nine doubles, 24 runs scored and nine stolen bases. That’s not even including his play on defense, which should be noted during the selection process as well.
For Robinson, I have little to say as the 2019 stats are not updated for the team, however, I highly doubt he put together a season like Burrow from the plate.
The only leeway I can give the committee is that the votes are taken before the postseason is complete and that conference finish does come into play. However, stats don’t lie.
For Harmony Grove not to even earn a nomination is a joke, especially when the team goes on to win the championship.
These kids were robbed of a high honor despite putting together some of the best seasons in the league.
With that said, I think a state championship ring looks better than a patch on a letterman jacket anyway.