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Firebirds' Baker dominates Big East honors

Posted on June 17, 2022

School SportsSports
Southern Nash’s Keegan Wallace runs to third base during an NCHSAA 3-A playoff game May 10 at Fike. Wallace was one of four Firebirds to be named to the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference all-conference team along with junior Landen Baker, senior A.J. High and sophomore Blake Strickland.

Sheldon Vick | Special to the Times

Southern Nash’s Keegan Wallace runs to third base during an NCHSAA 3-A playoff game May 10 at Fike. Wallace was one of four Firebirds to be named to the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference all-conference team along with junior Landen Baker, senior A.J. High and sophomore Blake Strickland.

Landen Baker dominated the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference baseball awards like the Southern Nash High junior dominated on the mound and at the plate this season. Baker collected both the Big East Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year honors as voted on by league coaches.

He was one of four Firebirds named to the All-Big East team along with teammates A.J. High, Keegan Wallace and Blake Strickland. Another Southern Nash player, Mason Wells, earned honorable mention.

Baker led the conference with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs while batting .425. He went 8-2 on the mound with 99 strikeouts as the Firebirds finished 16-7 and tied for second in the Big East with Roanoke Rapids at 10-4.

High led the Firebirds with a .477 average to go with 18 RBIs and seven doubles. In seven mound appearances, he was 0-1 with a 1.75 ERA and two saves. Wallace batted .464 with 28 RBIs and 14 doubles while Strickland posted a .348 average with 14 RBIs.

First-place Northern Nash led the All-Big East selections with six: Travis Gamache, Seth Williams, Danny O'Brien, Bryson Jenkins, Ashton Rhodes and Peyton Clay. Baker, Gamache, O'Brien and Jenkins are playing with Wilson American Legion Post 13 this summer.

The other all-conference selections were Austin Geary, Caleb Elias, Colin Clements and Josh Coker of Roanoke Rapids, Landon Heller and Nick Reiss of Franklinton, Evan Johnson and Colby Lewis of Nash Central and Malik Hill of Rocky Mount.

Northern Nash's Joey Keefe picked up Big East Coach of the Year.

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