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ASWA names baseball all-state team

The Alabama Sports Writers Association announced its annual All-State Baseball Teams over the weekend, listing four Marengo County players among the honorees.

In Class 1A, Sweet Water junior Chris Landrum grabbed first team distinction at his outfield spot. The selection marks the second straight year Landrum has been a first team outfielder. While that pedigree screams of a potential baseball future, Landrum, who has also made the ASWA all-state football team each of the last two years, committed to the Auburn Tiger football program earlier this spring.

“He’ll be able to do whatever he wants to do,” Sweet Water baseball coach Kevin Byrd said. “He is just very talented. He is just effortless in baseball. We are expecting a lot out of him in baseball. He can do anything. If we were a basketball school, he would be all-state in basketball.”

Byrd said he believes his junior would be able to find success on a collegiate baseball diamond had he chosen to do so.

“I think it is just a matter of what he wants to do,” Byrd said. “But I think he really likes football.”

While Landrum was a first team outfielder, teammate and classmate Ladarius Dumas grabbed honorable mention distinction as a Class 1A shortstop.

“He is a high motor guy,” Byrd said of Dumas, who missed much of the season due to injury. “He played all three sports last year and got fatigued by the spring. I think he’ll play some college baseball.”

Dumas is increasing his aptitude in the field but continues to impress his coach with his athleticism and tenacity.

“Speed and effort,” Byrd said. “He’s fast and he’s fast all the time.”

Byrd said the two rising seniors are a big part of the reason the Bulldogs have high hopes for 2011.

We’re excited about next year for sure,” Byrd said.

Two other local players making noise were a pair of Marengo Academy standouts. The first team catcher for the AISA, Chris Sammons stroked 10 home runs during his junior year, hitting at a .450 clip. He worked out of the cleanup spot for the Class AA state runner-up Longhorns and caught all but one inning over the course of the season.

Earning honorable mention accolades was Matt Wallace, whose pitching exploits during his junior year included a 13-inning playoff stretch in which he struck out 16 batters and allowed no runs on only three hits.