When Hagen Smith pitched, it was a tough night for opposing offenses.

The Bullard senior left-hander tied a state record with seven no-hitters. Smith, an Arkansas signee, allowed two earned runs all season.

Smith’s dominance earned him the honor of Tyler Morning Telegraph All-East Texas Baseball Player of the Year for the 2021 season.

Smith went 11-0 with a 0.19 ERA, 168 strikeouts, 26 walks and seven hits allowed in 73 innings.

At the plate, Smith hit .349 with 38 hits, nine doubles, four triples, 29 RBI, 30 runs and 11 stolen bases.

Smith earned multiple awards and honors, including being chosen as an All-American by Baseball America and MaxPreps.

When Smith was on the mound, there wasn’t a lot of action for the Bullard defense. But one Bullard defender who saw plenty of action was senior catcher Ryley Sharp.

The Crown College signee caught eight no-hitters and was a steady presence behind the dish as the Panthers’ top two pitchers combined to go 18-0 on the mound. Sharp had 296 putouts in 297 chances with one error, 20 assists and 26 runners caught stealing for a fielding percentage of .997.

Ryley Sharp

Bullard catcher Ryley Sharp

Sharp has been selected as the All-East Texas Baseball Defensive Player of the Year.

At the plate, Sharp hit .322 with 29 hits, 30 runs, five doubles, one triple and 29 RBI.

Another pitcher who made life difficult for opposing hitters was Rusk junior left-hander JD Thompson. The Vanderbilt pledge went 13-1 with one save, a 0.35 ERA and 19 walks. He also struck out a state-high 194 batters in helping the Eagles reach the state baseball time for the first time.

JD Thompson

Rusk pitcher JD Thompson lets one fly in a state semifinal game in Austin on Wednesday. The Eagles took a 6-3 victory over the Sinton Pirates and will play in the state championship on Thursday.

Thompson was selected as the All-East Texas Baseball Pitcher of the Year.

At the plate, Thompson hit .355 with 33 hits, two home runs, 10 doubles, five triples and 24 runs.

Malakoff captured the Class 3A state championship, and a big part of that was senior outfielder/designated hitter Brandon Nations.

Brandon Nations

Malakoff’s Brandon Nations

The Incarnate Word signee hit .445 with 53 hits, eight home runs, 13 doubles, 13 triples, 54 RBI, 50 runs and 18 stolen bases.

Nations has been selected as the All-East Texas Baseball Offensive Player of the Year.

And the head coach of the state-champion Malakoff Tigers is John Adair.

John Adair

Malakoff coach John Adair during Saturday’s June 12, 2021, 3A State Championship game against the London Pirates in Round Rock. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

Coaching in his 32nd and final season at the high school level, with more than 600 wins under his belt, Adair took a team to the state tournament for the fourth time in his career and time ended with his first state title.

Adair has been chosen as the All-East Texas Baseball Coach of the Year.

Michael Dudolski made an immediate impact to help the Whitehouse Wildcats win District 16-5A. The freshman pitched and played six different positions for the Wildcats.

Michael Dudolski

Michael Dudolski

Dudolski was 4-1 on the mound with a 1.19 ERA and did not allow a run in 27 district innings. At the plate, Dudolski hit .286 with 23 RBI, five doubles, four triples, 22 runs and 13 stolen bases.

Dudolski has been tabbed as the All-East Texas Baseball Newcomer of the Year.

Whitehouse baseball

Jackson Conser delivers a pitch for the Whitehouse Wildcats in their 3-0 win over Lufkin on Saturday, April 17. Conser was voted the District 16-5A Most Valuable Player.

All-East Texas Baseball first-team pitchers are Tyler Legacy senior Andrew Nick (2-3, 4 saves, 1.30 ERA; Eastfield College signee), Whitehouse senior Jackson Conser (9-0, 1.86 ERA, 80 strikeouts in 66.2 innings; .300 average; Richland College signee) and Canton senior Nick Fenner (9-1, 2 saves, 0.79 ERA, 87 strikeouts in 53 innings; .367 average, one home run, 22 RBI, 10 stolen bases; Mary Hardin-Baylor commit).

The first-team catcher is Sabine junior Alex Galyean, who hit .449 with two home runs, nine doubles, one triple, 26 RBI and 40 runs.

Brandon Burckel

Lindale’s Brandon Burckel celebrates with teammates over a double play in the second inning. He also finished the game as the closer as the Eagles took a 1-0 win over Sulphur Springs in the Rose City Classic on Feb. 26 at Mike Carter Field.

First-team infielders are Malakoff senior shortstop Bryson Adair (.391 average, five home runs, 41 RBI, 46 stolen bases; Sam Houston State signee), Malakoff senior first baseman Cole Gaddis (.381 average, eight home runs, 47 RBI, 58 runs, 59 walks, 23 stolen bases; Incarnate Word signee), Bullard senior third baseman Conner Carson (.351 average, two home runs, four triples, 31 RBI, 30 runs; 7-0 pitching, 1.44 ERA, 70 strikeouts; Abilene Christian signee) and Lindale senior shortstop Brandon Burckel (.404 average, 24 runs, 20 stolen bases; Houston signee).

First-team outfielders are Malakoff senior Riggin Smith (.331 average, 31 RBI, 28 runs, 14 stolen bases; 1.000 fielding percentage; 7-0 pitching, 1.36 ERA, 30 strikeouts), Winona senior Peyton Snow (.424 average, 38 runs, 62 stolen bases) and Kilgore senior Donovan Adkins (.385 average, three home runs, four triples, 36 runs, 18 stolen bases).

The first-team utility player is Rains senior Luke Sheppard, who hit .455 with a 1.275 OPS and a .655 slugging percentage. The Tyler Junior College signee also had 44 strikeouts in 32.1 innings pitched.


All-East Texas Baseball

Player of the Year: Hagen Smith, senior, Bullard

Newcomer of the Year: Michael Dudolski, Whitehouse

Pitcher of the Year: JD Thompson, junior, Rusk

Offensive Player of the Year: Brandon Nations, Malakoff

Defensive Player of the Year: Ryley Sharp, Bullard

Coach of the Year: John Adair, Malakoff

First Team

Pitcher: Andrew Nick, senior, Tyler Legacy

Pitcher: Jackson Conser, senior, Whitehouse

Pitcher: Nick Fenner, senior, Canton

Catcher: Alex Galyean, junior, Sabine

Infield: Bryson Adair, senior, Malakoff

Infield: Cole Gaddis, senior, Malakoff

Infield: Connor Carson, senior, Bullard

Infield: Brandon Burckel, senior, Lindale

Outfield: Riggin Smith, senior, Malakoff

Outfield: Peyton Snow, senior, Winona

Outfield: Donovan Adkins, senior, Kilgore

Utility: Luke Sheppard, senior, Rains

Second Team

Pitcher: Grayson Murry, junior, Brook Hill

Pitcher: Alan Benhardt, senior, Malakoff

Pitcher: Mason Circkel, junior, Rusk

Catcher: Colby Harris, senior, Tyler Legacy

Infield: Carson Richards, senior, Brook Hill

Infield: Bryce Jewell, senior, Bullard

Infield: AJ Smith, senior, Bishop Gorman

Infield: Ace Reese, sophomore, Canton

Outfield: Hayden Woods, senior, Brownsboro

Outfield: Jeramy Torres, junior, Hawkins

Outfield: Bryce Lenard, senior, Rusk

Utility: Colton Eikner, junior, Whitehouse

Third Team

Pitcher: George Rippy, junior, Tyler Legacy

Pitcher: Zach Conde, senior, Hawkins

Pitcher: Evan Patterson, senior, Harmony

Catcher: Jack Davis, senior, Malakoff

Infield: Cooper Hill, junior, Tyler Legacy

Infield: Austin Huml, senior, Troup

Infield: Garrett Bright, senior, Cayuga

Infield: Jaxon Rees, senior, Grace Community

Outfield: William Randall, senior, Tyler Legacy

Outfield: Dillon Tabb, senior, Chapel Hill

Outfield: Price Williams, senior, Grace Community

Utility: Chase Randall, freshman, Bullard

Honorable mention

Brook Hill: Cade Chesley

Brownsboro: Lane Epperson, Landon Hatton

Bullard: Derek DeGrate, Gage Wakefield

Canton: EJ Dyke, Colton Whitehead

Cayuga: Nic Wolverton, Haden McBroom, Jadan Henry, Braxton Killion, Ayden Stovall

Chapel Hill: Dillon Line

Edgewood: Noah Boone, Lukas Grace

Grace Community: Brooks Bays

Grand Saline: Jase Melton

Harmony: Tucker Tittle, freshman, Harmony

Kilgore: Cade Pippen, Dalton McElyea, Chris Ervin

Lindale: Bryce Everest, Kayden McClenny

Malakoff: Wes Hustead, Nate Jones, Erik Waldo

Neches: Cameron Carnathan, Zane Munsinger, Collin Morgan, John Snider, Sergio Servin, Karter Moore

Rusk: Landon Gates, Tarrant Sunday, Wade Williams, Brett Rawlinson, Will Dixon

Sabine: Payton McBride

Troup: Ty Lovelady, Brayden Vess

Tyler: Eli Sanchez, CJ Grace, Dante Martinez

Whitehouse: Ethan Stone, Peyton Blackmon, Hayden Hossley, Keegan McCord, Colin McLemore, Luke Caussey

Winona: Julio Zuniga, Colby McFarland, Chris Zuniga


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