Although their season ended short of playing for the Class 5A championship at Isotopes Park, the Cleveland High baseball team received plenty of postseason honors.
Although the Storm were eliminated from their first state title by the eventual champion, the La Cueva Bears, in the quarterfinals, the only head coach they’ve ever had – Shane Shallenberger – was named the District 1-5A Coach of the Year.
And shortstop DJ Sandoval was named the district’s Player of the Year.
In fact, the District 1-5A champion Storm (18-11) had five first-team members on the All-District squad: pitcher Jace Dominic, pitcher/first baseman Austin Barela, outfielder Chase Tyler, catcher Braylen Elzy and Sandoval.
Named to the second team were Dominic (at pitcher) and outfielder Roman Branaugh.
Infielders James Brevig and Logan Kinter, also a top-notch relief pitcher, received honorable mention honors.
Rams not far behind in honors
Four Rio Rancho High School (24-5) baseball players, whose season also ended in the quarterfinals, were named to the first team: pitcher/first baseman Seth Lee, infielders Vascon Smith and Kai Fitak, and outfielder Elijah Castañeda.
Pitcher Jason Parker, catcher Dominick Priddy, shortstop Ryan Casados and outfielder Casen Savage earned second-team honors for RRHS.
Pitcher Devon Alvarado and outfielder Noah Braunschweiger were honorable-mention selections.