Tiger senior honored by MHSBCA for second straight year.

Justin Ray said he didn’t think his individual game was as good as last year.

But the St. James High School senior was still good enough to earn all-state honors.

For the second straight season Ray, a four-year starter at catcher for the Tiger baseball team, was selected to the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association’s (MHSBCA) Class 4 Team, it was announced Friday.

Ray was an honorable mention selection.

Ray finished second on the squad in batting average at .395 this past spring - sixth best in the Four Rivers Conference - with 30 hits and 10 RBI. He also walked a team-high 11 times and struck out just six times in 76 at-bats, as St. James finished 10-15 overall and tied for third in the Four Rivers Conference standings.

Ray also started six games as a pitcher and worked a total of 30.7 innings - third on the squad - and had a 3.88 ERA, fanning 33 batters and walking 21.

“I don’t think I had as good a year as I did last year,” Ray said. “So I was kind of surprised (by making all-state).

“I was probably a better catcher than hitter this year. Defensively (catching) is where I’m most comfortable at.”

“Justin was a great player and quiet leader for us every year,” said St. James head coach Marty Hauck. “He has started behind the plate since his freshman year.

“He’s a great young man who worked very hard and never missed open fields, summer team practices or games in the off-season. I truly enjoyed coaching him every year, as I knew he would always give us 100 percent and was always a team player.”

St. James was also recognized by the MHSBCA as a 2014 Academic All-State Team.

The Tigers ranked No. 7 among Missouri Class 4 schools in team grade-point average at 3.100.

Here is the 2014 MHSBCA Class 4 All-State Team:

First Team
Pitchers: Brennan Hehner, sr., Westminster Christian; Joe Thomas, jr., Pembroke Hill; Graham Ruopp, jr., Cape Girardeau Notre Dame; Clayton McGuinness, jr., Savannah.
Catchers: Brett Bond, sr., Westminster Christian; Sam Frazen, sr., Pembroke Hill; Cole Bornhop, jr., Lutheran South.
Infielders: Brandon Downey, sr., Lutheran South; Caleb Hicks, sr., Westminster Christian; Payton Rawlins, sr., Seneca; Sam Swartz, jr., East Newton; Lane Mercille, sr., Potosi.
Outfielders: Cameron Dean, sr., Grandview; Collin Einertson, sr., Westminster Christian; Jacob Francis, sr., Boonville; Josh Haggerty, sr., Cape Girardeau Notre Dame.
DH/Utility: Jordan Smith, sr., Westmisnter Christian; Tyler Laplante, sr., Pembroke Hill; Dylan Coleman, jr., Potosi.

Second Team
Pitchers: Cody Creed, jr., Mexico; Sean Reardon, sr., Pembroke Hill; Jake Lochner, jr., Sullivan; Jacob Schlessner, jr., Logan Rogersville.
Catchers: Ryan Harris, sr., Windsor; Connor Pomering, jr., Logan Rogersville; Kurtlin Hulette, sr., Carl Junction.
Infielders: Tony Phillips, sr., Oak Grove; Colby Eckhoff, jr., Potosi; Tad Mitchell, jr., Logan Rogersville; Zack Hammond, jr., Monett; Josh Petty, sr., Carl Junction.
Outfielders: Chase Urhahn, jr., Cape Girardeau Notre Dame; Zach Adams, sr., Clinton; Dakota Hearn, sr., Oak Grove; Dillon Mattice, sr., St. Joseph Benton.
DH/Utility: Cameron Witt, soph., Monett; Bailey Jenkins, sr., Logan Rogersville; Luke haines, sr., Cape Girardeau Notre Dame.

Honorable Mention
Pitchers: Sam Capps, sr., Smithville; Gavin Jones, sr., Mexico; Spencer Juergens, jr., St. Francis Borgia; Blake Spain, jr., Monett.
Catchers: Justin Ray, sr., St. James; Travis Ralls, sr., Westminster Christian; Frank Nickoley, sr., Mexico.
Infielders: Tyler Bracht, jr., Mexico; Levi Kelsey, sr., Van Horn; Culley Stockley, sr., Sullivan; Justin Horace, sr., Borgia; Jordan hall, jr., Monett.
Outfielders: Aaron Graham, jr., Oak Grove; Garrett Jernigan, jr., Logan Rogersville; Jordan Fitzpatrick, fr., Logan Rogersville; Kobe Hardin, soph., Odessa.
DH/Utility: Nolan Gromacki, sr., Smithville; Rocky Liveoak, sr., East Newton; Dalan Merriman, sr., Seneca.