By Gary Lloyd
Hewitt-Trussville rising senior Riley Stokes picked up right where he left off in May.
Stokes, Hewitt-Trussville’s right fielder during the 2013 baseball season, the best in school history, shined for the North in Monday’s Alabama High School Athletic Association North-South Baseball All-Star game in Montgomery.
The North swept the two-game series, defeating the South by scores of 6-0 and 13-5.
In the first game, Stokes went 1-for-1 with a sacrifice fly. In the second game, Stokes collected a two-run single in the top of the seventh inning, the final runs for the North squad. He finished the second game with a 2-for-3 stat line.
Stokes said in a telephone interview on the way to Montgomery last week that he hoped to get noticed by some college coaches. Monday’s performance certainly helped.
“I’m grateful and lucky and proud of my team this year,” said Stokes, who doesn’t yet have a college offer. “It was a great feeling knowing I was going to get to represent Trussville and our school and our team. It’s a good feeling.”
It’s been a spectacular 2013 for Stokes. The junior batted .348 with 48 hits for a Hewitt-Trussville team that won a school-record 34 games in 2013. He scored 34 runs, knocked in 28 runs and stole 18 bases. He came into the season as the backup catcher, but he didn’t want to sit on the bench, he said.
Stokes went home, talked to his parents and then asked first-year Hewitt-Trussville head coach Jeff Mauldin if he could have a chance in the outfield, where he played during his travel ball years. It worked out, and Stokes will likely play center field his senior season.
Stokes, who also plays receiver on the Hewitt-Trussville football team, sees a future in baseball. He said any college or university that may offer him is great, though he admitted that a school that stands out is Jacksonville State. His cousin, former Hewitt-Trussville offensive lineman Casey Dunn, is on the football team there.
“Anywhere would be great,” Stokes said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.