Trio of players from West Platte makes all-state baseball team

A tie for third place at state ended up good enough for West Platte to place three players on the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state teams, released last week.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo West Platte junior McKaulley Stephenson delivers a pitch during the sixth inning of West Platte’s Class 2 quarterfinal against Miller on Wednesday, May 26 at Benner Park in Weston, Mo.

Junior pitcher McKaulley Stephenson made the list for the third time, while senior infielder Cody Guthrie became a repeat pick. Peyton Morris, a transfer student from Oklahoma, also made the cut.

Stephenson went from honorable mention as a freshman to second team last year to first team for his work this past season. He headed West Platte’s staff for a second straight season and went 9-2 with a 1.30 ERA. He struck out 109 in 64 2/3 innings and had allowed only four earned runs entering the Class 2 state semifinals.

In addition to his work on the mound, Stephenson hit .428 and led the Bluejays with four home runs and 36 RBIs.

Guthrie, a standout shortstop, made the second team after being honorable mention a year ago. He finished the season with a .408 batting average, knocking in 34 runs, stealing a team-high 15 bases and tying Stephenson for the team-lead in doubles with nine.

One of five senior starters, Guthrie was one of six for the Bluejays on this year’s roster who played in a 2013 Class 2 state championship game loss to Hartville.

Morris added a lot to this year’s return run to the semifinals.

West Platte’s catcher led the Bluejays with a .478 batting average with 10 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs, including the first two in an 8-0 quarterfinal win against Miller. In the playoffs for the fifth time in six years, the Bluejays earned a trip to their third semifinals in school history and advanced to face Valle Catholic, which won the matchup on the way to a second straight state title.

Rain forced the cancellation of West Platte’s scheduled third-place game against Norwood, and the two teams shared third place.