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East shortstop accomplishes season-long MVP goal

By MIKE FORMAN
June 9, 2014 at 1:09 a.m.
Updated June 10, 2014 at 1:10 a.m.

Victoria East third baseman Cole Urban dives for a ball as shortstop Jonathan Ortega makes the catch during Friday's Class 4A state championship game against Aledo at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

Jonathan Ortega started getting ready for baseball when the football season ended.

The Victoria East shortstop had an ambitious goal in mind for his junior year.

"I came out early in offseason like I usually do," Ortega said. "I prepared, and I worked hard. I told myself at the beginning of the year, 'I'm going to get MVP. I'm going to get MVP as a junior. I'm going to set my mind and do it.'"

Ortega accomplished his mission by being selected as the Most Valuable Player of District 30-4A by the league's coaches.

Ortega hit a team-leading .464 and led the Titans in hits (64), runs scored (44), RBIs (32), on-base percentage (.580) and shared the lead for doubles (11).

"Jonathan Ortega is a ballplayer bar none," said East coach Wes Kolle. "He works hard. He is so passionate about this game, and he wants to play at the highest level possible, and he's going to do it.

"He is so determined, and he is such an athlete," Kolle added. "He loves baseball. He works at it. Each and every day, he comes up to the park with a determination of getting better. He's a great teammate and a great leader."

Ortega played a critical role in East reaching the state tournament and advancing to the state final for the first time in school history.

"I just want to thank my teammates and my fans for everything," Ortega said. "I go out every day to play for them. I love East, I love Victoria, and that's who I play for."

East senior pitcher Kyle Craft and freshman designated hitter Trent Brown were first-team selections.

They were joined on the first team by Victoria West senior first baseman Jack Riggs and Calhoun senior Colton Kveton, who was chosen as a utility player.

District champion Calallen dominated the first team with six selections, including pitchers Dylan Duarte and Kyle Hill, second baseman Connor Lowrance - the only unanimous selection - shortstop Andrew Gonzalez and outfielders Derek Scheible, Mike Leal and Chase Whetsel.

Calallen's Ricky Arevalo shared Newcomer of the Year honors with Gregory-Portland's Sage Hamon.

Calallen's Steve Chapman was named Coach of the Year.

The first team also included Gregory-Portland pitcher Triston Busse, third baseman Blane Hamon and outfielder Tanner Geiser and Tuloso-Midway pitcher Mason Hellums and catcher Nathan Freitag.

East senior pitcher Ryan Williams, senior catcher Mason Tipton, senior first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and senior outfielder Trevor Brown were named to the second team.

West's second-team selections were junior pitcher Koby Bynum and junior outfielder Shane Kallman.

Other second-team selections included Calhoun junior pitcher Logan Nicholson, sophomore second baseman Andrew Holsey, junior shortstop Tristan Henderson and senior outfielder Travis Hudson and Beeville junior pitcher Cameron Kremers.

All-District 30-4A

Following is the All-District 30-4A team selected by the coaches. *Denotes unanimous selection.

MVP: Jonathan Ortega, jr., Victoria East

Newcomers of the Year: Ricky Arevalo, so., Calallen and Sage Hamon, so., Gregory-Portland

Coach of the Year: Steve Chapman, Calallen

FIRST TEAM

Pitcher: Kyle Craft, sr., East; Triston Busse, jr., G-P; Dylan Duarte, jr., Calallen; Kyle Hill, jr., Calallen; Mason Hellums, jr., Tuloso-Midway.

Catcher: Nathan Freitag, jr., T-M.

First Base: Jack Riggs, sr., Victoria West.

Second Base: Connor Lowrance*, sr., Calallen.

Third Base: Blane Hamon, sr., G-P.

Shortstop: Andrew Gonzalez, so., Calallen.

Outfield: Derek Scheible, sr., Calallen; Mike Leal, sr., Calallen; Chase Whetsel, jr., Calallen; Tanner Geiser, sr., G-P.

Utility: Colton Kveton, sr., Calhoun.

Designated Hitter: Trent Brown, fr., East.

SECOND TEAM

Pitcher: Ryan Williams, sr., East; Koby Bynum, jr., West; Cameron Kremers, jr., Beeville; Logan Nicholson, jr., Calhoun.

Catcher: Mason Tipton, sr., East.

First Base: Adrian Gonzalez, sr., East.

Second Base: Andrew Holsey, so., Calhoun; Tim Rogers, sr., G-P.

Third Base: Justice Flores, sr., Calallen.

Shortstop: Nick Galaviz, jr., T-M; Tristan Henderson, jr., Calhoun.

Outfield: Travis Hudson, sr., Calhoun; Shane Kallman, jr., West; Trevor Brown, sr., East; Ruben Martinez, sr., G-P; Caleb Rozypal, jr., T-M.

HONORABLE MENTION

Victoria East: Tim Gleinser, Cole Urban, Trent Whitley.

Victoria West: Garrett Harrison, Parker Tadlock, Tyler Willemin, Bryeton Canchola, Grant McDaniel.

Calhoun: Dustin Canales, Matthew Lerma, Michael Kalafatis.

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