By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
Three Waxahachie Indian baseball players earned All-District 11-6A superlatives following an impressive 2021 season.
Junior outfielder and pitcher Jared Thomas and senior centerfielder Xavien Thompson led the way for the Tribe as the district’s offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively. Sophomore catcher Jaxson Crow was selected as the 11-6A Underclassman of the Year, as well.
Waxahachie ultimately finished with a 25-10 overall record and tied for second place with Waco Midway in 11-6A. The Tribe exited in the second round of the 6A playoffs after being swept by Wylie (2-1, 2-0) in mid-May.
Thomas finished the season with a team-best .484/.590/.821 slash line and jaw-dropping 1.411 slugging percentage. He crushed four home runs and team-highs in doubles (14), triples (3) and RBIs (38). He also scored 35 runs while drawing 22 walks to just 13 strikeouts over 95 plate appearances.
Thomas was 6-2 with a 0.87 ERA on the mound for the Indians. He struck out 86 and walked 34 over 69.1 IP.
Thompson, a now-Navarro College commit, regularly flashed the leather for the Tribe — most notably laying out for a horizontal catch in centerfield to clinch the Indians’ second consecutive 6A playoff berth.
He also slugged a team-best six home runs to go with a .408-batting average, .535 on-base percentage and team-high 41 runs scored from the leadoff spot.
Crow proved to be more than adequate behind the dish, often playing well beyond his classification. He accounted for 41 putouts without an error and just a small handful of passed balls.
Crow hit .313 on the season with 32 runs scored and 16 RBIs to go with two triples and three doubles.
District coaches ultimately selected Waco Midway third baseman Cortlan Castle as the 11-6A Most Valuable Player. They also tabbed JD Moreno (Mansfield Lake Ridge) and Carter Hillburn (Mansfield) as the Pitcher of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, respectively.
Moreno’s selection as the top pitcher in the district is a bit debatable, as he bested Waxahachie’s ace Casey Kelly (senior) for the top honor.
Kelly, an All-District 11-6A first-team honoree, compiled an 8-1 overall record with a 0.93 ERA. He struck out 73 batters and walked 18 over 62.1 IP.
Kelly was a perfect 6-0 with a 0.93 ERA and 38 strikeouts to 11 walks over his five District 11-6A starts (32.1 IP).
Senior outfielder Jacob Cruz was the only other Indian selected to the 11-6A first team. He hit .297 on the season with 17 RBIs and 12 walks in 74 at-bats.
Navarro-bound senior Anthony Mata was tabbed as the All-District 11-6A third baseman after he drove home 33 runs and hit .250.
Freshman Joel Jurkash also landed on the 11-6A second team.
Jurkash was elevated from the freshman squad to the varsity ahead of the final tournament of the season. He finished his season with a .379-batting average and four doubles with 19 runs scored and nine RBIs.
Senior first baseman Caden Davis was named an All-District 11-6A honorable mention for his efforts, as well. He finished with 13 runs scored, six RBIs and a .258 average.
Off of the field, senior Landon Davis was the lone Indian named to the UIL Academic All-State first-team.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith