Pine pitcher, coach win top all-district awards

Published 12:12 pm Friday, June 21, 2019

Pine’s Luke Fonda is the District 9-2A Pitcher of the Year, Raiders coach Blake Dillon is the league’s Coach of the Year and several more are all-district players.
During this year’s district season, Fonda posted a 5-0 record with a 1.75 ERA and 1.05 WHIP (walks plus hits, per inning pitched). Fonda struck out 23 and walked eight over 23-2/3 innings.
Fonda talked about winning the award and credited his teammates and coaches.
“Winning the pitcher of the year was just a good experience. I couldn’t have done it without the other eight players on the field and my coaches pushing me to make me better,” Fonda said.
Fonda spoke about his year.
“I started out pitching not the best the first few games. I was in a slump to start the season, then when district started, I found it. I started hitting spots and my off-speeds were working,” Fonda said.
Fonda was also solid at the plate this season.
He batted .417 in district with a .533 on-base percentage and .556 slugging percentage. Fonda posted 10 RBIs and scored 12 runs. Fonda doubled three times and tripled once during league play.
Dillon guided the Raiders to a solid and historic season.
This year, Pine won the District 9-2A Championship. It was the Raiders’ first baseball district championship in school history.
The Raiders recorded an 18-13 overall record and they went 10-2 in district this year. The Raiders went to the playoffs and reached the regional round of the postseason before being defeated by Avoyelles Public Charter, 7-6 and 21-0, in a best-of-three series.
“I am really proud to get the coach of the year award. I have really enjoyed the process of watching our program grow over the last 10 years,” Dillon said. “We have had some great kids that have turned into great young men, upgrades to our facilities have made our park one of the best in the area and the production in the win-loss column is something we have all worked so hard for.
“I have had some hard working and dedicated assistant coaches and supportive administrators over my career that have really made the process memorable. We will continue to improve our program setting new goals and working hard.”
In addition to Fonda, Pine had four more first-team all-district players, including infielders Chase Cooper and Ian Turner, outfielder Kaden Fersch and utility player Kendall Sheridan.
In district play, Cooper batted .400 with a .571 on-base percentage and .560 slugging. Cooper hit a homer, drove in eight and scored 11 runs. He also had a double. Cooper struck out just three times in 36 plate appearances.
Turner batted .333 in league play and got on base at a .568 clip while slugging .417. Turner tallied 11 RBIs and 14 runs scored to go with a triple. Turner had just three strikeouts in 40 plate appearances.
Fersch was a .441 hitter in district with a .558 OBP and .559 slugging percentage in district play. Fersch drove in 14 runs, scored 19 runs and posted a pair of doubles and a triple. Fersch struck out just twice in 45 plate appearances.
Sheridan hit .424 during the district season with a .578 on-base percentage and a .697 slugging percentage. Sheridan hit a home run and drove in 13 while tallying 18 runs. Sheridan doubled six times.
Pine’s second-team players are outfielder Will Adams and catcher Logan Temples.
Adams was a .375 hitter in district with a .512 OBP and a .469 slugging percentage. Adams had 13 RBIs and 14 runs scored. Adams tallied a homer to go with one double and one triple.
On the mound, Adams had a 3.50 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP with eight strikeouts and five walks in 10 innings of work in district play.
Temples tallied a .308 batting average with a .455 on-base percentage and a .615 slugging percentage in district play. Temples hit a home run and drove in 11 while posting four runs. Temples doubled once and tripled twice.
Besides Pine, the district’s playoff teams were Amite, Northlake Christian School and Pope John Paul II.
Amite was the 31st-seeded team and lost to second-seeded and state runner up Doyle, 13-1, in the bid-district round.
Northlake Christian School was the ninth-seeded team in Division II and lost to eighth-seeded and state semifinalist Catholic of New Iberia in a best-of-three, two games to one.
Pope John Paul was the No. 13 team in Division III and they were defeated by fourth-seeded and state champion Calvary Baptist, two games to none, in a best-of-three.

Pine coach Blake Dillon speaks to his team this season. Dillon is the District 9-2A Coach of the Year.