The South Mississippi high school baseball season was loaded with individual talent in 2018, but one team stood out — the Vancleave Bulldogs.
Vancleave was the only team to claim a state title, sweeping New Hope in the Class 4A state title series. That's why senior pitcher/outfielder Bailee Hendon is the Sun Herald Player of the Year and coach Daniel Best is the Coach of the Year.
Here is the rest of the 2018 Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Team:
Player of the Year
Bailee Hendon, Vancleave senior
About Hendon: The 6-foot-4 lefty led the Vancleave High School baseball team to its first state championship, sweeping New Hope in the Class 4A title series. The Jones County Junior College signee was a quadruple threat as a hitter, pitcher, center fielder and base runner. He tossed three no-hitters in a four-game span this season.
2018 stats: The senior was 12-0 with 0.60 ERA with 106 strikeouts in 70 innings. At the plate, he hit .495 with five homers, 35 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.
Quotable: “They sky is the limit for (Hendon). He's got the ability, the speed, the power. He's only going to get better as he goes as long as he learns more and matures more. I think he'll play for a long time, God willing and he stays healthy." — Vancleave coach Daniel Best.
Coach of the Year
Daniel Best, Vancleave
About Best: The 2018 season was Best's first as a head coach and it ended with a Class 4A state championship. The former Southern Miss All-American pitcher led Vancleave to its first baseball state title. After an outstanding debut, Best was recently hired to take over as the Brandon head coach.
2018 record: 29-7.
Quotable: “We had (Best) as an assistant last year and he did a very good job. We had it in our hearts that we knew he was the guy that could take us farther than we've ever been.” — Vancleave senior Gavin Mckerchie
Fan Vote Winner
Brad Cumbest, East Central senior
About Cumbest: The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Cumbest is a Mississippi State football signee who came into his own on the baseball diamond in 2018. He will play both sports for the Bulldogs.
2018 stats: He hit .456 with eight homers and 31 RBIs. As a pitcher, he was 10-1 with a 1.01 ERA in 11 games.
All-South Mississippi Team
Malcolm Beaugez, Ocean Springs junior 3B — .422, 2 HR, 26 RBIs.
Zarin Cole, Pascagoula senior 1B — .471, HR, 17 RBIs
Cade Crosby, Long Beach sophomore IF — .356, 1 HR, 19 RBIs, 32 runs.
Kasey Donaldson, West Harrison senior OF — .500, 11 HR, 34 RBIs.
Dawson Hall, East Central senior 1B/P — 9-3, 0.97 ERA, 79 Ks; .352, 3 HR, 18 RBIs.
D'Artagnan Hawthorne, Harrison Central senior OF — .390, 10 doubles, 4 triples, 13 stolen bases.
Colton Hipp, Vancleave senior SS — .350, 7 HR, 18 doubles, 36 RBIs.
Gabe Lacy, Gulfport senior SS — .414, 8 HR, 38 RBIs.
Patrick Lee, Resurrection senior IF — .577, 3 HR, 41 RBIs, 21 stolen bases.
Leif Moore, St. Martin junior P/IF — 8-3, 2.58, 89 Ks; .322, 4 HR, 27 runs.
Dillon Morgan, Harrison Central senior 1B — .366 3 HR, 26 RBIs, 32 runs.
Eli Lee, Pearl River Central senior IF — .403, HR, 36 RBIs.
Tate Parker, West Harrison junior OF — .340, 5 HR, 22 RBIs
Canaan Ray, Poplarville junior 3B/P — .526, 27 RBIs, 12 doubles, 11 stolen bases.
Hayden Robb, Vancleave senior P/OF — 9-2, 1.42 ERA, 88 Ks.
Chad Stockstill, Picayune sophomore IF — .465, 6 HR, 29 RBIs.
Justin Stokes, Vancleave senior 1B/P — .367, HR, 46 RBIs; 1.91 ERA.
Brennen Study, St. Martin junior 3B — .420, 6 HR, 26 RBIs.
Ty Tingle, Resurrection senior C/OF — .532, 2 HR, 33 RBIs, 37 stolen bases.
Nick Skaggs, Biloxi junior C/P — .333, 10 doubles, 17 stolen bases; 2.89 ERA.