Herald All-Area Baseball First Team capsules

June 15, 2014 

Tyler Bench, sr., P, Palmetto

To his credit: The lefty went 6-2 and twirled no-hitters against Booker and Manatee. Bench finished with a 1.70 earned-run average while striking out 59 in 45 1/3 innings for the Tigers, and he contributed with the bat, hitting .302.

Fast fact: Bench picked his no-hitter over the rival Hurricanes as his favorite moment of the year. Palmetto won 1-0 that night, and Bench's counterpart was eventual pro draft pick Weston Davis.

Up next: Bench will stay local to play with State College of Florida.

Colton Chupp, jr., P, Lakewood Ranch

To his credit: Chupp sparkled on the mound for the Mustangs despite his 3-4 record. The lefty struck out 38 in 38 innings while allowing 12 runs, just four earned, for a 0.74 ERA.

Fast fact: Chupp's favorite dish is fried steak, and his favorite moment of the season was Ranch's win over Venice, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time.

Up next: Chupp's baseball season will spill into the summer, which he will spend playing with FTB's Rawlings team.

Khalyd Cox, sr., OF, Manatee

To his credit: The fleet-footed center fielder was terrific defensively for the Hurricanes and swung a big bat, hitting .349 while leading Manatee in hits (22) and triples (two) and getting on base at a .414 clip.

Fast fact: Cox also had four catches for 70 yards last fall for the football team.

Weston Davis, sr., P, Manatee

To his credit: Ranked one of the top 100 seniors in the country by MaxPreps, Davis went 6-3 with a 1.59 ERA for Class 8A Manatee. The hard-throwing righty struck out 56 in 52 innings while walking 16 and allowing 42 hits and 10 earned runs.

Fast fact: Davis' favorite moment of the year was playing rival Sarasota in the pouring rain, and his favorite food is steak, mashed potatoes and blackened grouper.

Up next: Davis was selected by the Washington Nationals during the 11th round of this month's amateur draft and signed a contract his past week. He is set to begin play later this month with the Nationals' Gulf Coast League team in Viera.

Payton Jenkins, sr., P, Inspiration Academy

To his credit: Jenkins created quite a splash with the area's newest program, going 10-1 with a 1.70 ERA and limiting opponents to a .189 average. Jenkins also struck out 87 and tossed six complete games and three shutouts. He contributed with the stick, too, hitting .318 with five home runs and 26 RBI.

Fast fact: Jenkins' best part of his season was closing his prep career with a complete game.

Up next: Jenkins will return for a postgraduate year to play for Inspiration Academy, which is not a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association.

Eric Kimsey, soph., P, Braden River

To his credit: Kimsey pitched better than his 5-4 record for the Pirates, posting a 1.50 ERA and allowing 57 hits -- 52 of which were singles -- in 70 innings. Kimsey totaled six complete games, including a shutout of second-seeded North Port in the Class 7A-District 10 tournament, and didn't allow an earned run in seven innings against St. Petersburg Northeast in a Region 3 quarterfinal.

Fast fact: Kimsey's favorite baseball team is the St. Louis Cardinals.

Up next: Kimsey will be playing travel ball with Florida Burn 2016 Pennant and will take part in a College Diamond tour through different colleges across the Southeast. Kimsey went 2-0 with a 0.88 ERA to help the Burn win the U16 championship at the Perfect Game Memorial Day East Tournament.

Justin Lakin, sr., OF, Bayshore

To his credit: Lakin was a co-captain for Bayshore's first district title team in six years and played error-free baseball in right field. He also hit .326 with 18 runs scored, five doubles and a .390 on-base percentage for the Bruins.

Fast fact: Lakin has a bit of sweet tooth; his favorite food is ice cream.

Up next: Lakin will continue his education at Arizona State.

Desmond Lindsay, jr., INF, Out-of-Door Academy

To his credit: Lindsay had another big year for the Thunder, hitting .473 with two home runs and 22 RBI. Named to Perfect Game's All-Underclassmen team, Lindsay, a first baseman, also swiped 17 bases for ODA.

Fast fact: Lindsay's favorite food is steak.

Up next: Having already committed to North Carolina, Lindsay is headed to Cary, N.C., to play in a Tournament of Stars and try out for the U18 national team. He also will play club ball with the Evoshield Canes, winners of five national championships.

Jake Mersch, sr., OF, Palmetto

To his credit: Mersch was prolific for the Tigers, batting .314 with 17 RBI. The Palmetto outfielder also made things happen on the bases, totaling 10 steals.

Fast fact: Mersch likes a good plate of steak and eggs, and his walk-off, two-run triple against Bayshore on the Tigers' Senior Night was the highlight of his year.

Up next: Mersch is undecided on college and will play for Bradenton's RBI U18 team this summer.

Derek Paparella, jr., INF, Bayshore

To his credit: A third baseman who also saw time in the outfield, Paparella batted leadoff and helped spark quite a few rallies for Bayshore, scoring 32 runs and swiping eight bases while totaling a .447 on-base percentage. Paparella was productive with guys on, too, driving in 20 runs while hitting three home runs to go along with 11 doubles and a pair of triples.

Fast fact: Paparella's favorite food is tripe, made from the stomach of various farm animals.

Up next: Paparella will continue playing this summer in preparation for his final year at Bayshore.

Jerad Paparella, sr., C, Bayshore

To his credit: The Bruins backstop played a huge role in the program winning its third district championship. Paparella hit .440 and drove in 34 runs while cracking 15 doubles and getting on base at a .542 clip. A captain, Paparella scored 23 runs and threw out 20 of 29 runners trying to steal for the Class 5A-District 10 champions.

Fast fact: When not playing baseball, Paparella focused on his studies. He graduated with a 3.9 grade-point average and was named his class' Male Student of the Year.

Up next: Paparella will play for Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Cameron Pearcey, soph., INF, Lakewood Ranch

To his credit: A standout football player, Pearcey also shined on the diamond, where he played second base for the Mustangs. Pearcy led the team with 25 hits while hitting .368 and finishing the season with a .456 on-base percentage.

Fast fact: Pearcey's favorite food is seafood, and his best memory of the past year was beating Venice, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time, during the Mustangs' first game.

Up next: Pearcey plans on staying busy this summer. He'll play with Southwest Florida Baseball's U17 Navy team, work out during Vanderbilt's prospect camp and participate in a minority showcase hosted by B.J and Justin Upton.

Daniel Schroeder, sr., INF, Bayshore

To his credit: The Bruins first baseman put up the sort of production expected from a corner infielder, batting .317 with 20 RBIs, nine doubles, 15 runs scored and a .430 on-base percentage. Schroeder pitched as well, compiling a 6-6 record and a 2.59 ERA while striking out 85 in 73 innings.

Fast fact: Schroeder's favorite moment was Bayshore winning the district title. He had three hits, an RBI and a run scored during the clinching 7-1 win over Gulfport Boca Ciega.

Up next: Schroeder hopes to continue playing at the collegiate level.

Spencer Stevens, soph., P, Cardinal Mooney

To his credit: Stevens was terrific on the hill in helping the Cougars win the Class 3A-District 10 championship. He went 8-2 with 0.66 ERA while walking eight in 53 1/3 innings and striking out 40. Stevens also threw three shutouts for Mooney.

Fast fact: When not on the mound, Stevens enjoys boating, fishing and visiting relatives in New England.

Up next: Stevens will play club ball this summer with an FTB team out of Orlando and will join Cardinal Mooney's teams in some local tournaments.

Julian Valdivia, sr., Utility, Bayshore

To his credit: It was a busy spring for Valdivia, who played six different positions for the Class 5A-District 10 champions while hitting .389 and driving in 17 runs. Valdivia also had a .472 on-base percentage, scored 23 runs and totaled 10 steals. On the mound, Valdivia went 3-4 but had a 1.87 ERA.

Fast fact: Valdivia tossed a complete game in Bayshore's 7-1 district-clinching win over Boca Ciega.

Honorable mention

BRADENTON CHRISTIAN -- Luke Darnell, sr., 1B/P; Hunter McGarry, jr., 2B/P; David Hinkel, jr., SS/P; Aaron Downard, jr., P; Tyler Lyke, jr., C.

BRADEN RIVER -- Brian Dillingham, soph., 2B; Cole Pencosky, soph., OF.

CARDINAL MOONEY -- Josh Bonynge, soph., INF; T. Hebda, soph., P; Matt Quinlan, sr., utility.

INSPIRATION ACADEMY -- Troy Nichols, sr., C.

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Tyler Mattes, so., P; Matt Roberts, jr., C; Andrew Giddens, sr., DH/P.

MANATEE -- Jonathan Aragon, jr., C; Robert Rew, jr., OF.

OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY -- Parke Phillips, soph., C.

SAINT STEPHEN'S -- Parker Shanahan, fr., C.

-- John Lembo, Herald staff

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