BRENHAM, Texas -- Five Blinn College baseball players have been named to the All-Region XIV Conference South Zone team after leading the Buccaneers to a 31-24 regular-season record.
Sophomore pitcher Karl Malecek, freshman catcher Brandon Montalvo, sophomore infielders Kevin Santana and Hayden Vesely and sophomore designated hitter Tyler Coker were each named to the squad.
Malecek, a 6-3, 195-pound right-hander from North Vancouver, Canada, went 6-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 77 2/3 innings this season, walking 15 while striking out 46. He was a unanimous all-conference selection.
“If you had to have a team MVP, Karl would get quite a few votes,” Blinn head coach Harvey McIntyre said. “He’s been extremely important because you can anchor your rotation around him and he’s extremely consistent.”
Montalvo, a 6-0, 190-pound freshman from Houston, batted .280 this season with nine doubles, three homers and 20 RBIs.
“He separated himself from everyone else,” McIntyre said. “Once he started swinging it, he really gained confidence in himself.”
Santana, a 5-11, 196-pound first baseman / third baseman from Cypress, hit .339 this season with 18 doubles, seven home runs and 42 RBIs. His slugging percentage of .563 led the Buccaneers, as did his 47 runs scored. He was a unanimous all-conference selection.
“There haven’t been a lot of games that we haven’t gotten anything out of Kevin Santana,” McIntyre said. “People around the league know about him.”
Vesely, a 6-0, 192-pound second baseman / third baseman from Victoria, hit .311 this season with 15 doubles, one homer and 35 RBIs. He led the team with 13 stolen bases and ranked second with 43 runs scored and he was a unanimous all-conference selection.
“He’s a gamer,” McIntyre said. “Since he got here, he’s played right field, left field, second base and third base. He’s a great kid, he works extremely hard and I’d take him on any team I’ve ever had.”
Coker, a 5-9, 175-pound center fielder from Atascocita, is hitting .303 with nine doubles, three homers and 27 RBIs. He leads the Buccaneers with 39 walks this season and boasts a team-leading .459 on-base percentage.
“He gives us quality at-bats,” McIntyre said. “He always gives us an opportunity to score and he’s really swinging it well lately so I’m excited about what he can do at the regional tournament.”
The Buccaneers will face Panola College in the first round of the Region XIV Tournament, hosted by Angelina College in Lufkin this year. Paris and Alvin will play the first game of the tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by Blinn vs. Panola at 1 p.m., Galveston vs. Navarro at 5 p.m. and Bossier Parish vs. San Jacinto at 8 p.m.
Blinn is the third seed out of the South Zone while Panola is the No. 2 seed from the East. Audio coverage of the tournament will be streamed online at http://www.tsrnsports.com.
ALL-REGION XIV CONFERENCE SOUTH ZONE TEAM
PLAYER SCHOOL POSITION CLASS HOMETOWN
Brian Belote* Alvin Pitcher Fr. Angleton, TX
Chase Hodson Alvin Pitcher So. Richmond, TX
Matt Locus San Jacinto Pitcher So. Katy, TX
Karl Malecek* Blinn Pitcher So. N. Vancouver, Canada
Derek Wade Galveston Pitcher So. The Woodlands, TX
Tanner Hill* Galveston Catcher Fr. New Braunfels, TX
Brandon Montalvo Blinn Catcher Fr. Houston, TX
Cole Coakley* Alvin Infield So. Rosenberg, TX
Geonte Jackson* San Jacinto Infield Fr. Fort Bend, TX
Jack Kaiser* Alvin Infield Fr. Santa Fe, TX
Kevin Santana* Blinn Infield So. Cypress, TX
Hayden Vesely* Blinn Infield So. Victoria, TX
J.C. Cantu* Alvin Outfield So. Lake Jackson, TX
Frank Cloutier* Wharton County Outfield So. Quebec, Canada
Zack Gibson Alvin Outfield So. Clear Creek, TX
Karl Smith San Jacinto Outfield Fr. Humble, TX
Tyler Coker Blinn Designated Hitter So. Atascocita, TX
Andrew Arteaga Laredo Utility So. Edinburgh, TX
Tom Arrington San Jacinto Coach of the Year 12th Season Mill Valley, Calif.
* Unanimous selection