Platte County’s top pitcher-catcher combo for the past two years shared a notable distinction this season.
Justin Mitchell made the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 5 all-state list for a second straight season, moving up from second team to first team in his senior season. Jared Wilson, the Pirates’ senior ace, earned a second team nod for his first all-state honors.
Arguably, no two players were bigger factors in Platte County’s historic 24-3 season, which ended with a 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Lee’s Summit last month. The Pirates garnered the No. 5 spot in the final MHSBCA Class 5 poll, the top team to not reach the state semifinals.
Prior to last season, Platte County didn’t have any all-state performers since moving into Missouri’s largest classification. Mitchell became the first and now the first repeat selection in Class 5, capping his career as a four-year starter at catcher.
The Kansas City Royals selected Mitchell in the 39th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft earlier this month. However, Mitchell remains firmly committed to honoring his scholarship with the University of Oklahoma even after becoming the second player in program history to be taken in the draft (Jake Blackwood, 2005 and 2006 out of Maple Woods (Mo.) Community College).
This past season, Mitchell led Platte County in home runs (eight), RBIs (40), runs (36), walks (26), hit by pitch (five), batting average (.480), on-base percentage (.632) and slugging percentage (1.000). He also tied for the team lead in doubles (11) and triples (two), while ranking second in hits (36).
Mitchell also excelled on defense, calling the game for pitchers during most of his career. As a senior, he recorded six pickoffs, and only 13 runners attempted to steal a base. He threw out two of them.
Wilson became the second Platte County player to earn Class 5 all-state honors.
As a junior, Wilson broke out with a 6-0 record and a team-best 0.921 WHIP in eight starts, striking out 50 compared to 14 walks. He put up even better stats as a senior, striking out a team-high 43 with just eight walks in a team-high 42 2/3 innings.
Wilson started 12 games in coach Rob Davenport’s unique system developed to deal with newly mandated rest days for players at certain pitch counts. Davenport kept pitch counts low to avoid the rest, and Wilson thrived, going 7-1 with just five earned runs while maintaining an 0.82 ERA and an 0.844 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched).
The lone loss for Wilson, signed to Cowley County (Kan.) Community College came after he allowed the single run to Lee’s Summit in a playoff loss. The Pirates won a district title for the first time since 2006, entering the playoffs on a 12-game winning streak.
Wilson also played shortstop when not on the mound and hit .236 with three extra-base hits — one a solo home run in a 10-0 Class 5 District 16 title game win over Staley. Mitchell hit home runs in both district games and added a double off the wall in a sectional win over Liberty North before Lee’s Summit intentionally walked him three times in what ended up the final game for one of the best players in Platte County history.
Prior to this season, Platte County’s loaded senior class of 13 players hadn’t accounted for a single postseason win before reeling off four straight to make the quarterfinals.
BASEBALL POSTSEASON HONORS
MISSOURI HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-STATE
C — Justin Mitchell, sr., Platte County
P — Jared Wilson, sr., Platte County
ALL-SUBURBAN CONFERENCE GOLD DIVISION
OF — Liam Henry, jr., Park Hill
SS — Tyler Watson, sr., Park Hill; 2B — Chase McCollom, sr., Park Hill
P — Liam Henry, jr., Park Hill; U — Trevor Guzzo, sr., Park Hill
ALL-SUBURBAN CONFERENCE RED DIVISION
P — Ryan Hagen, sr., Park Hill South
C — Jackson Dixon, so., Park Hill South; OF — Jake Evans, sr., Park Hill South; Andrew Aswegan, sr., Park Hill South; P — Collin Brougham, jr., Park Hill South
2B — Malik Stevenson, jr., Park Hill South; 3B — Jake Kline, sr., Park Hill South; U — Stephen Personelli, jr., Park Hill South
ALL-SUBURBAN CONFERENCE BLUE DIVISION
C — Justin Mitchell, sr., Platte County; 1B — Austin Gammill, sr., Platte County; 2B — Dillon Doll, sr., Platte County; OF — Kobe Cummings, jr., Platte County; U — Drew Parmeley, sr., Platte County; P — Jared Wilson, sr., Platte County; Grant Carver, sr., Platte County
OF — Ethan Esdohr, so., Platte County
3B — Max Hunter, jr., Platte County; SS — Jared Wilson, sr., Platte County; OF — Ryan Frazier, sr., Platte County; P — Blake Conner, sr., Platte County; Colton Horn, sr., Platte County
Player of the year — Justin Mitchell, sr., Platte County
2B — Remington Wilson, jr., North Platte; SS — Grant Eagen, jr., West Platte; OF — Trevor Lamar, jr., North Platte
ALL-CLASS 2 DISTRICT 16
Grant Eagen, jr., West Platte; Noah Johnson, so., West Platte; Garrett Lamar, sr., North Platte; Hunter Oliver, sr., North Platte