Townsend is Class 1A First Team second baseman

VINA — Brent Townsend has been one of the best athletes at Vina in recent years, dominating on the football field, basketball court and the baseball field.

Townsend capped off his year with the Red Devils by putting in an All-State season at second base while leading Vina to its second straight playoff appearance and its first playoff victory.

“It is a great honor,” Townsend said. “I want to thank the coaches, my teammates and God.”

Townsend said his successful season came from the great play of his teammates, especially during the playoff win.

Townsend pitched a complete game shutout during the 7-0 victory, but failed to strike out an opposing batter.

“The guys were making crazy plays,” Townsend said. “I wouldn’t trade anybody for them. We had a great time together and that is what made the season so good.”

Townsend, along with Morgan McCarley, gave Vina a strong pitching duo that dominated opponents.

Townsend had an 8-1 record this season, pitching 53.3 innings in 12 games. He allowed 35 hits while striking out 55 and walking only five batters.

“He does not have overpowering velocity, but he does have pinpoint accuracy,” Vina coach Greg Hamilton said. “He pitched well to both sides of the plate and was not afraid to pitch inside.”

As good as Townsend was on the mound, Hamilton said he was just as valuable at second base.

“There is no way to describe what he brought to the baseball team,” Hamilton said. “He knew how to command the infield.”

Townsend was also a threat at the plate, batting .400 in 105 at bats. He had 42 hits, 20 RBIs and drew 14 walks while striking out only four times.

He said his success in the batters box came from Hamilton.

“You have to have a good approach (when hitting),” Townsend said. “Coach Hamilton taught us how to have a quality at bat when we went to the plate.”

He used those quality at bats to reach base where he used his speed to steal 40 bases this season — his second straight season with at least 40 stolen bases. During those two years, Townsend stole 84 bases and was thrown out only twice.

“It’s really impressive. He not only has the speed for running bases, but he knew how to run them,” Hamilton said. “He is a very smart base runner.”

Townsend becomes the third player from Vina to earn All-State First Team honors. The other players were Patrick McCarley and Gary Taylor.

Townsend has signed to play baseball at Blue Mountain College in Mississippi.

“It’s quite an honor, I am extremely proud for him. It is a fitting way to end his high school career,” Hamilton said. “He is a very good baseball player all around. He is definitely going to be missed at Vina.”