Varsity Baseball

All-Metro Baseball: Check Eagle’s 2019 team made up of Wichita’s top players

The Wichita Eagle’s 2019 All-Metro Baseball Team: (Back row) Campus coach Bryan Clasen, Campus’ Jackson Hartley, Campus’ Tanner Leslie, Campus’ Tyler Kahmann, Goddard’s Koby Burdett, Eisenhower’s Wade Reynolds, (Front row) Cheney’s Dawson Winter, Bishop Carroll’s Jack Ebright, Bishop Carroll’s Reece Flax, Maize South’s Alex Epp, Trinity Academy’s Nate Adler (Not pictured: Derby’s Grant Adler, Wichita Heights’ Jordan Ellison, Wichita West’s Andres Perez-Martinez)
The Wichita Eagle’s 2019 All-Metro Baseball Team: (Back row) Campus coach Bryan Clasen, Campus’ Jackson Hartley, Campus’ Tanner Leslie, Campus’ Tyler Kahmann, Goddard’s Koby Burdett, Eisenhower’s Wade Reynolds, (Front row) Cheney’s Dawson Winter, Bishop Carroll’s Jack Ebright, Bishop Carroll’s Reece Flax, Maize South’s Alex Epp, Trinity Academy’s Nate Adler (Not pictured: Derby’s Grant Adler, Wichita Heights’ Jordan Ellison, Wichita West’s Andres Perez-Martinez) The Wichita Eagle

The Wichita Eagle and Varsity Kansas present the 15th annual All-Metro Baseball Team, made up of the top players from Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties:

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Derby’s Grant Adler Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Adler did not have the year he posted as a sophomore, but he caught fire late.

Making his second All-Metro appearance, Adler had just a 3-3 record on the mound but a 1.00 ERA with 65 strikeouts over 41 2/3 innings. Most important, he helped Derby back to state.

The 13th-seeded Panthers beat two of the top five seeds in Class 6A West in Gardner Edgerton and Manhattan before falling in the state quarterfinals to eventual champion Campus, but in Derby’s regional semifinal, he threw a shutout.

In two regional games in his career, he has given up two hits. He has thrown three complete games in the postseason.

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Derby pitcher Grant Adler. (June 4, 2018)

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Trinity Academy's Nate Adler

Photo: Hayden Barber, The Wichita Eagle

Trinity Academy clinched its second straight trip to state in 2019, and Adler had a lot to do with it.

Serving as a leader for the Knights on the mound and at the plate, Adler rifled Trinity to an 18-1 regular season record with a Central Plains League title and 4A regional championship.

Adler entered the postseason 7-0 with the ball in his hand while hitting for a .578 average, slugging 1.654.

Adler joins his cousin, Derby’s Grant Adler, on the 2019 All-Metro team. He said it is special to share in the honor.

“It’s kind of cool to see how your whole family is succeeding at all that they are doing and cool to see the relationships they’ve built over the years,” he said. “You can see how our connection kind of spans out.”

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Utility, Trinity Academy’s Nate Adler Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Goddard's Koby Burdett

Photo: Courtesy of Koby Burdett

Goddard had a resurgence in 2019, and a lot of it had to do with Burdett’s leadership.

The Lions turned to their junior first baseman, and he inspired them to a 13-5 regular season and an AVCTL II championship.

He hit for a .476 average with 30 hits, 12 of which went for extra bases. And because of those numbers, combined with his ability to galvanize his group, the league coaches voted him AVCTL II MVP along with fellow All-Metro selection Maize South’s Alex Epp.

“Last year, I kind of went into a sophomore slump,” Burdett said. “I got in the lab this winter and really got after it. It’s good to have something to show for it. ... I’ve always been a good player. It just took one really good season like this to get myself out there.”

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2019 All-Metro Baseball First Baseman, Goddard’s Koby Burdett Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Bishop Carroll's Jack Ebright

Photo: Hayden Barber, The Wichita Eagle

Ebright took a massive step in his senior season.

After falling to the City League’s second team last year, Ebright not only landed on the first team in 2019 but also the Class 5A All-State first team. He finished the season 7-0 and allowed just two earned runs all season.

Ebright stepped in nicely as the Golden Eagles’ ace as Brady Bockover, an All-Metro selection last year, recovered from a rib injury. Ebright posted a 0.44 ERA, and opponents hit for a 0.173 average against him.

He helped Carroll to its second straight top three finish at state and an undefeated regular season.

“We had a great season together; we are all like brothers,” Ebright said. “We have been together for a long time, so it was nice to be able to go 22-0. It just sucks that we couldn’t finish it off.”

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Pitcher, Bishop Carroll’s Jack Ebright Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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Heights' Jordan Ellison
Heights junior Jordan Ellison was among those selected to the All-City League first team. Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

2019 didn’t treat Ellison kindly at times, but he pulled through for his second straight All-Metro bid.

Ellison lost a lot of the senior talent around him in last year’s state semifinal push, and the Falcons finished the season 7-12. Although Ellison gave up a 3.733 ERA and 36 hits this season, he struck out 74 batters over 45 innings.

Ellison had the most coaches’ nominations from across the Wichita area after earning his second first team All-State honor and third straight first team All-City League accolade.

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Jordan Ellison, pitcher / 2nd base, Heights (June 5, 2018) Bo Rader The Wichita Eagle

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Maize South's Alex Epp

Photo: Courtesy of Alex Epp

Fighting through a rigorous schedule, Maize South came still just one win shy of state despite Epp’s best efforts.

The AVCTL II co-MVP was almost flawless at the plate in the Mavericks’ regional tournament, including going 4-for-4 in a loss to then-undefeated Bishop Carroll.

Epp was silk from either side of second base and hit for a .412 average with 29 hits. He becomes the second straight Maize South middle infielder to land on the All-Metro team, joining Brody Hanna in 2018.

“Maize South, we got a lot of tradition,” Epp said. “We look up to our seniors, and with all those seniors who have helped me grow it’s a great honor to be here. I can’t wait to pass on that tradition.

“Our team was definitely a different team come May than it was March. We worked hard and challenged each other every day in practice.”

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Middle Infielder, Maize South’s Alex Epp Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Bishop Carroll's Reece Flax

Photo: Matt Birch, Courtesy of Reece Flax

At the beginning of the season Carroll coach Charlie Ebright asked Flax to step up.

Flax listed, earning his first and only All-Metro selection after hitting for a .543 average with 26 RBIs, 25 hits and 13 of which went for extra bases.

Flax was Carroll’s most reliable hitter in its undefeated regular season, slugging for 1.021 and scoring 33 runs of his own. Flax and the rest of the Carroll seniors led the Golden Eagles to what is believed to be the first undefeated regular season in school history.

“We had a great season,” he said. “We strung it together and got it done in the regular season. It was pretty exciting to know that we haven’t done that before, and to do it with that group of guys was pretty cool.”

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Outfielder, Bishop Carroll’s Reece Flax Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Campus' Jackson Hartley

Photo: Courtesy of Jackson Hartley

Hartley was key to Campus’ turnaround last year and continued the trend as a junior.

Helping the Colts to their first state title since 1991, Hartley hit for a .392 average while finishing the season 9-0 on the mound.

Hartley has already snagged a scholarship offer to Wichita State and will likely be a hot commodity for his versatility as a senior.

“Every day, I kind of reflect on how we got there with our regional championship game,” Hartley said. “That was the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of. I think of the events in that game that led us to win that to get to the state tournament. It’s just crazy to think of how we even got there.”

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Third Baseman, Campus’ Jackson Hartley Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Campus' Tyler Kahmann

Photo: Doug Hahn, Courtesy of Tyler Kahmann

Campus’ do-it-all kid couldn’t leave without one last banner.

Kahmann, a three-sport athlete at Campus, made it his mission to hang as many banners as possible for the Colts in their turnaround across all sports, and he helped do that as a senior with his first state, league and regional title.

Kahmann, signed to play receiver at Emporia State, takes his second All-Metro honor of his senior year after hitting for a .512 average and serving as a source of stability at short stop for the Colts, and when they needed more, he came through.

In the regional title game, Kahmann tied it in extra innings by stealing second, third and home after a throw from the catcher went into the outfield.

“Going from freshman year when my teams weren’t necessarily that good to having such a successful year has been awesome,” Kahmann said. “I can’t thank my teammates enough. Without them, I couldn’t have done anything.

“(In the regional), I was thinking, ‘Well, I don’t want to go out like this.’ “

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Short Stop, Campus’ Tyler Kahmann Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Campus' Tanner Leslie

Photo: Hayden Barber, The Wichita Eagle

After working as a nice complementary piece last year, Leslie took the spotlight in 2019.

Named the Class 6A Player of the Year as only a junior, Leslie was foundational to Campus’ state championship run. He had a .500 average and an 8-1 record on the mound.

He was versatile in his positioning and was rewarded for it with several postseason honors, including his first All-Metro selection. He will be key to Campus’ quest at defending its championship next season.

“It’s kind of crazy, especially being a junior; being a junior and getting these honors, I just got to stay humble and keep working,” he said.

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Outfielder, Campus’ Tanner Leslie Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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Wichita West’s Andres Perez-Martinez Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

Few teams held Bishop Carroll under 10 runs this season, especially in the City League, but Perez-Martinez kept the Golden Eagles to only a handful.

Perez-Martinez earned his first All-Metro honor in 2019 with a 1.4 ERA over 44 innings to go along with a staggering 79 strikeouts.

Opponents could not keep up with his speed and movement, hitting just .188 against him while posting a 1.0 WHIP. He was named to the City League’s first team and helped West to a runner-up finish in the league.

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Eisenhower's Wade Reynolds

Photo: Courtesy of Wade Reynolds

Eisenhower won five games last year, and 12 months later hosted a regional tournament.

Reynolds was the biggest reason for the turnaround. He hit for a .426 average and blasted four home runs as Eisenhower improved to 12-7 in 2019.

Reynolds was moved all across the diamond in his career as a Tiger but shined nit he outfield as a senior, earning him his first All-Metro selection and first trip on the Class 5A All-State team.

“It seems like all of us (All-Metro selections) have played on the same club team at one time or another, and two or three of us played on the same team last year, so it’s kind of fun,” Reynolds said.

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Outfielder, Eisenhower’s Wade Reynolds Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Cheney's Dawson Winter

Photo: Courtesy of Dawson Winter

Winter lasted a couple of months longer than usual.

The Cheney senior was outstanding in 2019 in everything he did. He hit for a .479 average with 34 hits, 13 of which went for at least a double. And he posted a 6-1 record on the mound; his one loss came in a 1-0 loss at Trinity Academy against fellow All-Metro selection Nate Adler.

Winter finished the season with 50 strikeouts and only struck out twice himself. He was also vital on the basepaths, going 22-of-24 on steal attempts.

“Just to be around these (All-Metro) guys makes me feel a little more talented than I already am,” Winter said. “It just gives me the boost to go into my college baseball career next year.”

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Utility, Cheney’s Dawson Winter Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Team, Campus' Bryan Clasen

Photo: Hayden Barber, The Wichita Eagle

Clasen is proud of the tradition of Campus baseball, but none of his teams had hit the peak the 2019 squad did.

The Colts beat Lawrence Free State 3-2 on a walkoff in nine innings from junior Austin Warkins to win the Class 6A state championship. It was Campus’ first since 1991 and second in school history.

Clasen was instrumental in turning the Colts from a six-win team two seasons ago into champions.

“I’ve said it a couple times since then that I’m not an emotional guy at all,” he said. “But watching it all happen and unfold, to be honest with you, I was tearing up when Warkins got up to bat. I knew it was over. I was tearing up while I was coaching third over there. Talking to the kids after the game and seeing the joy and the emotions on their face, it was a very emotional experience.”

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2019 All-Metro Baseball Coach, Campus’ Bryan Clasen Hayden Barber The Wichita Eagle

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