The AZSportsnetwork has named a pair of Payson High School baseball players to its post-season All-Division III team.
Chance Randall was tapped to the first team and Nick McMullen was chosen to the second team.
Randall played third base most of the season but also saw some action at catcher.
“He could have made it at third base as well, but we placed him here (at catcher),” said AZSportsnetwork officer ‘Coach Pichotta.’ “I mean his walks were Barry Bonds scary as teams would rather give him a free base.”
McMullen, a first baseman and outfielder was named all D-III as an outfielder.
“A favorite young player in the state of mine,” Pichotta said. “This kid should be a dominant force as he moves forward.”
Last season, McMullen led the team in hitting with a robust .488 average. He also hit for good power with a team-high 13 doubles, one triple and four home runs. He struck out just eight times in 82 at-bats.
His 44 RBIs is also a team high.
Randall compiled a .486 batting average with nine doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 40 RBIs.
As the word of Randall’s hitting prowess and power spread around the state, opposing pitchers opted to intentionally walk him, resulting in a team-high 16 bases on balls.
This season, AZSportsnetwork changed the format for honoring players.
“In the last six years we have had (all-conference) first team, second team and honorable mention,” Pichotta said. “This year, because of the combining of the former 2A and 3A classifications (into Division III) we decided to create a first team, second team, third team and no honorable mentions.”
Pichotta, like others around the state, say the competition for all-division honors was fierce because so many players were vying for a few spots,
“It (selecting) was just outright tough.”
Pichotta believes AZSportsnetwork honorees are more accurate than other polls, including one by the coaches, because, “We see all the teams across the state including film as this is what we do with all sports while others do not.”