The perfect example of what Kevin Robinson meant to the Byrd baseball team came in the opening playoff series.
Robinson got the Game 1 start, but since it was a road game, the Yellow Jacket started off at the plate. Batting in the heart of the lineup, Robinson had a two-run double in the first inning to give himself a lead when he took the mound in the bottom of the inning.
He took it from there, getting the complete game victory in a 6-2 win over Brother Martin as the Jackets would go on to advance to the quarterfinals.
“He was definitely our most valuable player, both on offense and defense,” Byrd coach Greg Williams said. “On the mound, he gave us a chance to win every time he got out there and even came in relief a couple of times. Plus we hit him in the middle of the lineup and produced time after time.”
That value is reflected in his statistics, and earned him the Outstanding Player honor on the Shreveport-Bossier Journal’s All-Metro Baseball Team for 2023.
For the year, Robinson had a 10-3 record with a 1.55 ERA. The win total by the Northwestern State signee is a school record. Robinson went at least six innings in every start but one.
Robinson batted .339 with a team-high 38 RBI.
“He’s a good example of putting in the work,” Williams said. “He had a good year last year, but this year his body really developed and was a big part of the success we had.”
Coach of the Year honors went to Northwood’s Austin Alexander, who guided the Falcons to back-to-back quarterfinal appearances. The Falcons won 29 games for the second straight year.
“We are really proud of what we did this year,” Alexander said. “Back-to-back quarters … there’s a lot to be said for that. But we went into the year with high expectations.”
The All-Metro team was chosen after consultation with six local coaches. It’s a senior-dominated team, with only three underclassmen chosen to the first team.
There was a battle for many of the spots, but the closest competition was probably at catcher between two seniors – Parkway’s Zach Schoenborn and Calvary’s Cade Bedgood.
“Both are really good players,” one coach said. “But defensively, Schoenborn just shut you down. We didn’t even try to run on him, plus he was always a threat to back-pick you.”
The pitching staff also had heavy competition with two other seniors – Benton’s Sawyer Simmons and Haughton’s Austin Anderson – joining Robinson and Northwood sophomore Jack Carlisle to make the four-man staff. Simmons was the Pitcher of the Year on the All-District 1-5A team and Anderson, a Northwestern State signee, was last year’s Outstanding Player on the Journal’s All-Metro team.
There are seven repeaters from last year’s team – Schoenborn, Northwood’s Tucker McCabe and Jaxon Bentzler, Haughton’s Anderson and Colin Rains, Simmons and Calvary’s Aubrey Hermes.
The 15-man team was limited to one player at each standard position, plus a pitching staff consisting of four starters. Two utility players were chosen, based on having split time as both a pitcher and a position player.
Eight different schools were represented in the All-Metro first team.
The “Best of the Rest” is for those who were given strong consideration for the first team.
2023 ALL-METRO BASEBALL TEAM
Catcher – Zach Schoenborn, Parkway (Sr.)
First Base – Walker Wickland, Captain Shreve (Sr.)
Second Base – Cayne Little, Northwood (Sr.)
Shortstop – Aubrey Hermes, Calvary (Jr.)
Third Base – Clayton Brandon, Airline (Sr.)
Outfield – Tucker McCabe, Northwood (Jr.)
Outfield – Trenton Lape, Parkway (Sr.)
Outfield – Colin Rains, Haughton (Sr.)
Designated Hitter – Josh Weir, Benton (Sr.)
Pitcher – Austin Anderson, Haughton (Sr.)
Pitcher – Sawyer Simmons, Benton (Sr.)
Pitcher – Kevin Robinson, Byrd (Sr.)
Pitcher — Jack Carlisle, Northwood (So.)
Utility – Jackson Legg, Calvary (Sr.)
Utility – Jaxon Bentzler, Northwood (So.)
Outstanding Player – Kevin Robinson, Byrd
Coach of the Year – Austin Alexander, Northwood
BEST OF THE REST
Catcher – Cade Bedgood, Calvary (Sr.); Jaydenn Booker, Southwood (Sr.); Lake Lambert, Byrd (Sr.)
Shortstop – Caleb Brown, Haughton, (Sr.), Brandon Levy, Parkway (Sr.)
Third Base – Shawn Driggers, Parkway (Jr.)
Outfield – Walker Fox, Byrd (Sr.), Kody Jackson, Evangel (Sr.); Barrett Newman, Parkway (Sr.); Bryson Pierce, Benton (Jr.)
Pitcher – Christian Blackmon, Northwood (So.); Jackson Bleich, Captain Shreve (Sr.); Logan Fontenot, Calvary (Jr.); Carter White, Airline (Jr.)
Utility – Cale Latimer, Benton (Sr.)