Gulf Shores' Hager, Daphne's Howard, Robertsdale's Wiggins recognized by Midtown Optimist Club, Mobile Baseball Connection

Baldwin County trio honored with hardware

By Cole McNanna
Sports Editor
cole@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 5/27/22

The Midtown Optimist Club presented awards to local baseball players during an awards luncheon May 25 at the Azalea City Golf Club in Mobile.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Subscribe to continue reading. Already a subscriber? Sign in

Get the gift of local news. All subscriptions 50% off for a limited time!

You can cancel anytime.
 

Please log in to continue

Log in

Gulf Shores' Hager, Daphne's Howard, Robertsdale's Wiggins recognized by Midtown Optimist Club, Mobile Baseball Connection

Baldwin County trio honored with hardware

Posted

The Midtown Optimist Club presented awards to local baseball players during an awards luncheon May 25 at the Azalea City Golf Club in Mobile.

Joey Warner and the Mobile Baseball Connection assembled the honorees that included a pitcher and player of the year for Mobile and Baldwin Counties and recognized another eight players from either county to create a Terrific Twelve. First-, second- and third-team all-county squads were set to be released soon.

Mobile Sports Hall of Famer and former Kansas City Royals pitcher and Satsuma and Vigor High standout Randy McGilberry served as guest speaker and presented the awards to the athletes.

Baldwin County's representatives included Gulf Shores' Case Hager (pitcher of the year), Daphne's Jackson Howard (player of the year) and Robertsdale's Kobe Wiggins (extraordinary eight).

All three have signed to continue their athletic and academic careers at the collegiate level. Hager is headed to Coastal Alabama East, Howard signed with South Alabama and Wiggins will go to Central Alabama.

Hager was Gulf Shores' ace and finished with a 9-0 record in 47 innings pitched where he registered a 1.79 ERA with 63 strikeouts.

"His family moved down from Missouri this past year and Case is the real deal. He reached out to me in the summer by himself, per email. It kind of shocked me reaching out by himself but it was very well-written and from the time he got with us he was a team guy," Dolphin Head Coach Chris Jacks said during the luncheon.

"I appreciate everyone pushing me to be the absolute best person I can be and it's an absolute honor to be the pitcher of the year for Baldwin County," Hager said after the ceremony.

Howard held down first base for the Trojans and paced the offense where he racked up a .383 batting average with eight home runs, 24 extra-base hits, 55 RBIs, 36 runs and 19 stolen bases. Defensively, he recorded 202 putouts in 212 chances for a fielding percentage of .981 with six assists and 16 double plays.

"It has been a real honor for him to call me his coach," Brent Boyd said. "The way he's worked, I gotta say this is one of many awards to come for him. Really excited for Jackson, excited for his family to go to South, excited for me to get to watch. Thankful for the opportunity to coach him."

Howard said, "It feels great, I put in a bunch of work to get here and I'm just thankful I was nominated to be the player of the year in Baldwin County."

Wiggins got the job done on both sides of the baseball where he led the team offensively in walks (20), doubles (13), triples (2) and on-base percentage (.481) and defensively in ERA (2.36) and strikeouts (57). He finished with a team second-best in batting average (.377), runs (29), stolen bases (11) and innings pitched (47.1) and third-best in RBIs (23).

"He's a real high-energy guy, I know he had a good offensive season, and he was our number one pitcher the last two years but we're going to miss his leadership and energy the most," Golden Bear Head Coach Peter Bezeredi said. "He's done some really great things — he plays so hard and brings all the other guys around him and makes them play harder."

Wiggins said, "I'm very thankful. First off, I want to thank God for giving me the ability to play baseball and to thank my parents for always supporting me and my coaches and my teammates for being there for me. Mr. Joey always does a great job with this; this is my third time being here and it's always been awesome."