Del Rio High School’s representatives on this year’s District 29-6A Baseball All-District team can finally be announced.
With the elimination of Laredo Alexander in the Class 6A, Region IV finals this weekend, the final District 29-6A squad has been knocked out of the playoffs. Alexander fell to Lake Travis in a best-of-three series, getting swept in two straight games.
And while the players and coaches from the district’s teams were made aware of who made the all-district teams prior to Alexander’s loss, rules dictate that media cannot publish that information until the final team from the district is eliminated from the postseason.
Del Rio is represented on this year’s all-district teams by five players including four seniors and one freshman.
Leading the group is freshman Matt Mendez, who was named the 29-6A Newcomer of the Year.
Mendez, who is also the son of Rams head coach Nick Mendez, was elevated to the starting lineup during district play after an injury to Allen Hernandez brought an early end to the senior’s season. Mendez filled in at shortstop and made the most of his chance, eventually leading the Rams in batting and earning the team’s Offensive MVP award.
Senior Anthony Maldonado was a unanimous first team selection as an outfielder. The University of Dallas commit, who was also named as the Rams’ MVP, was Del Rio’s only all-district selection last season as he was named to the all-district second team.
Maldonado was known for his hitting, but it was his play in the outfield, and his toughness, that allowed him to stand out. Coach Mendez point out during one game this season that Maldonado crashed into the brick wall at The Bank & Trust Ram Field trying to catch a fly ball. The collision left him battered and disoriented and forced him from the game. While Mendez thought Maldonado was done for the game, the senior said his father said it was okay for him to return and he resumed his spot in the lineup for the reminder of the game.
Honorable mention selections went to seniors Guy Creamer, J.D. Torres and Hernandez.
Creamer, who committed to play football at Hardin Simmons University, pitched and played first base for the Rams, but he was an all-district selection at pitcher. The tall and lanky right hander was one of the Rams’ most versatile players, but he was solid on the mound. He was also named the Rams’ co-pitcher of the year along with Andy Ibarra.
Torres was the Rams’ Swiss army knife, capable of playing multiple positions when needed. He played infield, pitcher and served as catcher at times during district play, earning him the honorable mention nod as a utility player. He was also the Rams’ defensive MVP.
Though Hernandez was injured early on in the district schedule, Mendez explained that his fellow coaches had so much respect for the senior that they wanted to reward with him with the honorable mention selection. Hernandez was another of the Rams’ versatile players, serving as pitcher as well as an infielder. His all-district recognition was for his play as a shortstop/infielder. Hernandez was also the co-recipient of The Bank & Trust Ram Pride Award along with teammate Diego De Leon.