Four Tigers Make All-Con­fer­ence

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS - By Mark Humphrey

PRAIRIE GROVE — Four Prairie Grove play­ers made All-Con­fer­ence from the 2018 Tiger base­ball sea­son: short­stop Drew Cates, catcher Couper Allen; pitcher/out­fielder DJ Pear­son, and in­fielder Kyle Fi­dler.

Prairie Grove com­piled a 14-18 record, two wins shy of what coach Chris Mile­ham was aim­ing for the Tigers to be­come a .500 ball-club by sea­son’s end. They placed sec­ond at the dis­trict tour­na­ment and fourth at Re­gion­als be­fore suf­fer­ing a nar­row loss in their first state tour­na­ment ap­pear­ance with Mile­ham at the helm.

Drew Cates

Cates was named All-State for his ju­nior sea­son, ap­pear­ing in 30 games bat­ting .333 with 32 hits in 96 at-bats and 110 plate ap­pear­ances, 16 runs scored, 23 RBIs, 6 dou­bles and 1 triple. Cates was also rec­og­nized as All-Con­fer­ence by the 4A-1. Cates took 11 bases-on-balls against 12 strike-outs, reach­ing on an er­ror 7 times manag­ing an on-base per­cent­age of .400 and a .416 slug­ging per­cent­age. Cates had 5 stolen bases.

De­spite a team-high 18 er­rors, Cates sported a .849 field­ing av­er­age and turned 6 dou­ble plays, one-fourth of the Tiger to­tal of 23. Cates made 8 ap­pear­ances as a pitcher and recorded 2 saves. Cates al­lowed 7 runs on 8 hits in 7.2 in­nings on the mound.

Couper Allen

Allen played in 31 games as a ju­nior, hit­ting .319 with 30 hits in 94 at-bats among 112 plate ap­pear­ances. He was fre­quently re­placed by a cour­tesy run­ner and scored 8 runs with 19 RBIs, and 10 dou­bles. Allen reached baseon-balls 13 times, struck out 26 times, twice was hit by pitches, reached on an er­ror 5 times with a .409 on-base per­cent­age and a .425 slug­ging per­cent­age. Allen stole bases twice. Allen was steady as the Tigers’ back­stop fin­ish­ing with a .985 field­ing per­cent­age and 3 er­rors.

DJ Pear­son

In his se­nior sea­son Pear­son pro­vided lead­er­ship. Play­ing in 31 games he pro­duced 22 hits in 91 at-bats from 105 plate ap­pear­ances for a .242 av­er­age with 12 runs scored, 11 RBIs and 2 dou­bles. Pear­son was awarded 13 bases-on-balls and struck out 25 times. He was left on-base 57 times, sec­ond to Chase Wade (62) and stole 2 bases. Pear­son’s field­ing per­cent­age was .933 with 4 er­rors.

Pear­son started 8 games on the mound, ac­cu­mu­lat­ing a 2.12 earned-run av­er­age and a 5-2 record. Pear­son pitched the sec­ond-most in­nings of any Tiger with 43. Gar­rett Hel­temes led the team with 43.2. Pear­son al­lowed 30 runs on 39 hits with only 13 of those runs earned. His strike-out (47) to base-on-balls (26) ra­tio was nearly 2-1. Pear­son faced 207 bat­ters with 174 at-bats. Wild pitches weren’t his thing as he wound up with only 3 such de­liv­er­ies and 7 bat­ters hit by pitches. Pear­son threw the most pitches of any Tiger with 756.

Kyle Fi­dler

Fi­dler came on as a sopho­more mov­ing into the start­ing lineup. Fi­dler ap­peared in 30 games, bat­ting .265 with 22 hits in 83 at-bats with 108 plate ap­pear­ances, 17 runs scored, 20 RBIs, and 2 dou­bles. Fi­dler got aboard 11 times with a free pass, had 17 strike-outs, led the team in be­ing hit by a pitch 14 times, 6 times reached on an er­ror and had a .435 on-base per­cent­age with 2 stolen bases

Fi­dler matched 6 er­rors with 6 dou­ble plays and had a .965 field­ing per­cent­age. Fi­dler also made 6 ap­pear­ances on the mound, al­low­ing 12 runs on 14 hits in 13.1 in­nings of work. His strike­out to walk ra­tio was 2-1 with 14 strike-outs against 7 bases-on-balls.


The 2018 Prairie Grove base­ball team coached by Chris Mile­ham (left) poses out­side the high school be­fore leav­ing for the State 4A base­ball tour­na­ment in May. Four Tigers were se­lected to the 4A-1 All-Con­fer­ence base­ball team.

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