The baseball season didn’t end the way either Brunswick High or Glynn Academy would have liked, but both baseball teams were well-represented on the Region 2-6A all-region team.
The Red Terrors, who won their first region title in 20 years this season, landed five players on the all-region team. That includes Randon Jernigan, who was named the Region Player of the Year, while Richmond Hill’s Michael Menhart was tabbed Pitcher of the Year.
“He’s a game-changer,” said Glynn Academy head coach Greg Roberts of Jernigan. “He requires so much attention from the defense and the pitcher that we get chances to drive in runs. It makes it a little easier on (the rest of the lineup). He doesn’t bog the bases down. He led us in runs scored and on-base percentage. He forced people to throw pitches to the middle of the lineup.”
Brunswick High head coach Al Otte coached Jernigan his freshman year before the rising senior transferred to Glynn Academy. He said Jernigan’s speed helps set him apart from the pack.
“You can’t hide speed,” Otte said. “Kids like Randon and Joe Smith have that speed, learn how to use it and it makes them very tough. He’s going to be a good one.”
Roberts and Otte were also selected as the co-Region Coaches of the Year. Roberts lead Glynn to the region title while Otte helped the Pirates snap a postseason drought. Otte announced last week that he was retiring from his post.
“Coach Otte has done some tremendous things for the community,” Roberts said. “He did a tremendous job this year getting (Brunswick) to the playoffs. He put together a very good product on the field, and they were in a lot of baseball games. We’re going to miss him.”
Otte was surprised and humbled by the honor.
“I love those guys in that region,” Otte said. “That’s a good group of men who have great character.”
Four Glynn players made the all-region team including second baseman Matt Rivers, first baseman Paul Hegeman and infielders/pitchers Alex Colon and Will Bowdoin. Bowdoin was selected as a pitcher, though Roberts said he was also up for a spot on the all-region infield for his work at shortstop, while Colon, who pitched and played third base and shortstop, was picked as a utility player.
Roberts said consistency was a huge factor for the success of Glynn’s infield.
“We really work those guys extremely hard and force them to be cognizant of how important it is to play those positions,” Roberts said. “You’re a pitcher’s best friend. When we get balls hit to us, we’ve got to make plays. At the same time, those guys did things offensively that also helped us.”
Bowdoin was dominant on the mound this season for Glynn with an ERA that didn’t venture above 1.00. Roberts said Bowdoin was in contention for the Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year honors.
“He just fills you up with strikes,” Roberts said. “He doesn’t let you breathe. He attacks, attacks, attacks and doesn’t give you any air. He’s going to force you to find a way to get a hit or he’s going to get you out. He’s so good mentally that he’s not afraid to throw pitches on any count. He’s not scared of anyone who steps into the box. That’s the kind of pitcher you want. Every night you send him out there, he’s going to give you a chance to win — no matter who you play.”
The Pirates placed two players on the all-region team — center fielder Joe Smith and pitcher Harrison Trawick.
Otte said Smith, the Pirates’ leadoff man, worked hard to improve in the offseason.
“He’s made some changes and just become a better ballplayer,” Otte said. “He’s gotten smarter at the game. He’s utilizing his speed better and defensively, he’s been pretty good. He’s probably one of the best defensive outfielders I’ve had the chance to coach. I’ve not seen him take a bad route on a baseball.”
Trawick was Brunswick’s best pitcher this season, and Otte said it was his competitiveness that sets him apart.
“He has the mentality to pitch,” Otte said. “He has that intangible that most people have to learn. There’s kids that like to win and there’s kids that hate to lose and that’s him — he hates to lose. His concentration level is better than most, and that gives him a huge advantage.”
The Pirates also had three honorable mention selections — Landon Chanclor, Mikey Waters and Jacob Benton. Glynn’s Bo Pierce and Carter Hutchinson were also chosen as honorable mentions.