The 2013 Silsbee Tiger Baseball team just completed the most successful year in the history of baseball at SHS by battling their way to the UIL State Semfinal game.
During the course of the year, many members of the Silsbee Tiger team earned honors for their outstanding play.
Jordan Gore, a junior, was named as the 21-3A MVP of the Year. He was a first team Super Gold second baseman and a third team THSCA All State Second Baseman.
The old adage is that you have to have strength up the middle to be strong in baseball and the Tigers managed to do this with first team players at second and short, and a second team all-district player in center field.
Gore was very effective at the plate. He had 127 official at bats and had 46 hits. He finished the year with 10 doubles, four triples and six home runs. He led the team with 46 RBI’s. Gore led the team in home runs and triples.
He had 24 walks and 25 strike outs. He stole 12 bases.
Defensively he fielded at an .889 clip. He has 135 fielding opportunities and had 15 errors and five double plays.
Every now and then he was called on to pitch. He pitched 24.2 innings with three wins and one loss. He had an era of 3.69 and struck out 13 batters.
Tyler Powell, a junior, was named as the 21-3A Pitcher of the Year. He was the Super Gold MVP and was a Third team THSCA All State Pitcher.
He pitched 89.1 innings and finished the season with a record of 12-2 with two saves. He had an ERA of 1.96 and allowed 61 hits and 25 earned runs. His pitches were always around the plate. He walked 36 batters and struck out 99. He had 11 batters that he hit.
One of his most impressive performances came in the Tigers quarterfinal victory over Diboll. He pitched the first game, which was one of his two losses. Then he returned to pitch as a reliever in the second and third games.
When he came in for the third game the crowd seemed to sense that it was over.
In addition to his outstanding work on the mound he was outstanding at the plate. He had a batting average of.333 with 25 hits in 75 at bats. He had two doubles and 16 RBI’.s
Montana Garcia, a senior, was the District 21-3A MVP. He was a First Team Super Gold Shortstop.
Garcia was strong at the plate and in the field. He batted .362 with 46 hits in 127 at bats. He had 13 doubles, two triples and two home runs. He had 23 RBI’s. He walked 24 times and scored a team high 49 runs.
In addition he stole 15 bases.
He was a superb fielder at the shortstop position with a fielding percentage of .890. He had 13 errors and eight double plays during the season.
Garcia has announced that he will play baseball next season at LSU-Eunice.
Adam Valencia, a senior, was a first team District 21-3A outfielder. He played left field for the Tigers.
He had 131 official at bats with 43 hits for a batting average of .328. He finished the year with 13 doubles, one triple and one home run. He walked 13 times and struck out 25 times.
Valencia fielded at a .897 clip. He played catcher in his earlier years and converted to the outfield as an upperclassman.
Brayden Griffin, a junior, was a first team District 21-3A first baseman. He could best be described as tough in the clutch. It seemed that as the Tigers drove deeper and deeper into the playoffs he was able to sustain his average at the plate and even at times seemed to bat better than in the regular season.
He finished the year with a batting average of .255. He had 27 hits in 106 at bats. He had 11 doubles and three home runs.
He also was one of the Tigers three starting pitchers. He pitched 54.2 innings and had five wins and two losses. He had an ERA of 3.07 and struck out 51 with an assortment to junk pitches that seemed to be relentless. He did not dominant batters with his speed but they knew they had been had when they walked away from the play.
Defensively he led the team with a fielding percentage of .980. He played all season and had only four errors. He was in on eight double plays.
Griffin never stepped away from the ball. He led the team in being hit by a pitch. He was sent to first eight times after being hit.
In addition to the first team all district players, Silsbee had four players who earned second team all district honors.
Colby LeBlanc, a junior, was absolutely one of the most effective players on the Tiger’s team. He had 43 hits in 133 at bats for an average of .323. He walked 21 times and struck out 18. He was usually swinging at the plate.
He finished the year with 12 doubles, three triples and two home runs. He stole eight bases and was only caught stealing once.
Defensively he played catcher and fielded at a.988 clip with only three errors. He had a great arm and threw out many batters as they attempted to steal.
Matthew Hartman, a junior, was a the second team District 21-3A designated hitter.
Hartman struggled with an injury to his foot throughout much of the season. His most important value for the Tigers was not his hitting but his pitching. He was their best pitcher early in the season when Powell was recovering from an injury. Then after getting hurt himself, he continued to pitch and dominate batters. He threw for 58 innings with an ERA of 2.53. He finished the year with eight wins and one loss. He also had a save. He struck out 48 and walked 14. He hit five batters and allowed just 21 earned runs during the year.
Hartman batted 63 times with 19 hits. He struck out seven times and walked five. He seldom played in the field except when he was pitching.
Dusty Thibodeaux, a senior, was a second team all district player at third base. He finished the year at the hot corner with a fielding percentage of .732 and had 19 errors.
He had 32 hits in 113 attempts. He had six doubles. Thibodeaux walked 18 times and struck out 30.
He had a batting average of .283.
Colin Shellhammer, a senior, was a second team all district player as a centerfielder. One of his high points was the great diving catch he made to defeat Carthage in the Regional semi-finals.
He had a fielding percentage of .972 with great range and defensive ability. He had only three errors during the season. Offensively he batted .231 with 21 hits in 91 at bats. He had two doubles and three triples. He walked 19 times and struck out 28 times. He used his great speed to steal 17 bases.
Two other Tigers were honored for their play this year.
Kris Elers, a junior was selected as an honorable mention all district player in the outfield.
During the course of the year, he subbed in when needed. The tall, lanky guy was often called on to serve as a pinch runner. He occasionally served as a designated hitter and filled in at first when Griffin pitched or in the outfield when needed.
However, he became a sleeping giant in the playoffs. Coach Nelson needed him in the field and he got the opportunity to shine at the plate. In one quarterfinal game he hit a home run, a double and a single. He suddenly became the hardest out on the team.
In honor of his play, he was the only Tiger named to the UIL All Tournament team.
He finished the year with a batting average of .407. He had 11 hits in 27 official at bats. He had three doubles and three home runs. He will probably be at batt a lot more than 33 times next season.
In addition he walked four times and struck out seven.
His fielding percentage was .962 with two errors.
Chris Nesbitt, a junior, was named to the honorable mention squad as a right fielder. He was a very effective outfielder. He made a number of outstanding catches including a diving catch in foul territory against Bridge City that helped the Tigers earn the district championship.
He had a fielding percentage of .966 with two errors and one double play.
He finished the year with a batting average of .257 with 19 hits in 74 official at bats. In addition he walked ten times and struck out 13. He stole 14 bases and was only caught stealing once.