Big hits, kicks and jumps
O’Fallon High School seniors Wes Collins and Josh Gibson are among four metro-east area players chosen as members of the 2019 Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state baseball teams.
The Class 1A-4A IHSBCA teams were released Monday.
Collins, an outfielder, and Gibson, a shortstop, are joined by Edwardsville junior first baseman Drake Westcott as local players chosen to the Class 4A all-state team.
Gibault senior pitcher-infielder Mark Branz, who helped lead the Hawks to a second place finish at the Class 1A state baseball tournament, was also an all-state selection.
A fixture in the O’Fallon infield the past four years, Gibson again was outstanding this spring, as he led the Panthers to a 25-9 record and third place finish in the Southwestern Conference.
Gibson ended his senior year with a .402 average with a team leading seven home runs and 34 RBI. Gibson also finished with 50 stolen bases in 50 attempts.
A four year starter at O’Fallon, Gibson was also solid with the glove, finishing with a .915 fielding percentage on 129 chances.
Collins, a fleet-footed outfielder, became one off the most exciting players in the SWC this season, hitting .435 with six home runs and a team-leading 35 RBIs. Collins also had a slugging percentage of .763 and stole 37 bases in 40 attempts, and was perfect in the outfield as well, committing no errors in 32 chances.
Westcott, one of the top offensive players in the state since his freshman season in 2017, was a key in leading Edwardsville to the Class 4A state championship.
The power-hitting first baseman batted .380 and finished the season with an .823 slugging percentage, while leading the Tigers (37-5) with nine home runs and 39 RBIs. Already committed to attend the University of Louisville in 2020, Westcott also drew 36 walks in 125 plate appearances while striking out only 14 times.
While Westcott led Edwardsville to its third state championship, Branz and the Gibault Hawks came up just short, placing second in the Class 1A state finals.
Brand was a standout both on the mound and at the plate for Gibault (25-9). As a pitcher, Branz was 9-1 with a 4.17 ERA in 11 starts, allowing 32 earned runs in 54 innings while striking out 72.
Branz also batted .443 with two home runs and 26 RBIs.