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2021 Sports in Kansas 6A All-State Baseball Team

Carson Liggett helped Blue Valley to the 6A title and will play at Louisville.
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen w/ Conor Nicholl
Jun 22, 2021

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Sports in Kansas has released its 2021 All-State Baseball Team. Selections were finalized by Sports in Kansas (Chet Kuplen & Conor Nicholl) with input from several (25+) media members/media outlets in Kansas, this is not the coaches association team or just its members, every league and team in Kansas are eligible. Teams were also selected after the conclusion of the season. While the selection process is never perfect we encourage cooperation throughout the season with info/stats sent into Sports in Kansas at sportsinkansas@gmail.com. 

IF YOU MADE THIS LIST BELOW ORDER YOUR SPORTS IN KANSAS ALL-STATE BASEBALL PATCH - FIRST OR SECOND TEAM, OR HONORABLE MENTION ASAP BY EMAILING Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas, at: sportsinkansas@gmail.com

2021 Sports in Kansas 6A Baseball Player of the Year

Grant Strong, Olathe East

In addition to the 6A SIK honor, Olathe East’s Grant Strong also earned 6A Player of the Year by the Kansas Baseball Coaches. He collected first team all-state outfield. The left-handed hitting Strong hit three homers in the regional semifinal. Notably on April 15, the left-handed pitching Strong delivered a fine outing on the mound and hit a 400-foot home run. Strong, who plays on the Kansas City Royals Scout Team, has committed to play baseball at Illinois. Strong is 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and was OE’s only starter back from 2019.

That season, Strong hit .382 with 29 hits, two homers, 15 RBI and 16 runs scored. He also posted a 4-2 record with a 1.21 ERA.

He was one of 12 seniors on Olathe East’s roster this spring. Strong earned first team all-Sunflower League for the outfield and pitcher. Olathe East lost to Olathe West in the regional championship game in a game that Strong was ejected for contact at the plate in a very questionable call. In his first at-bat in the regional final, Strong hit a line drive off the left-center wall.

Sports in Kansas 2021 6A Baseball Pitcher of the Year

Carson Liggett, Blue Valley

Blue Valley’s Carson Liggett, who will play for Louisville at the next level, served as the Tiger ace en route to a Class 6A state title. Liggett pitched in 13 games with 11 starts. He had a 9-0 record in 61 innings with 24 hits allowed. Liggett posted a 92/17 strikeout to walk rate with a 0.80 earned-run average and a .672 walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP). Liggett threw 61 of the team’s 168 innings.

Liggett set school records for wins and strikeouts. He finished second in school single season ERA, .02 behind BV’s school mark.

Liggett had multiple high-profile performances. On April 3, Liggett posted eight innings with 13 strikeouts. On May 4, he had seven innings and 13 strikeouts. Overall, Blue Valley posted a 1.73 team ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Luke Johnson had a 6-1 record and 1.00 ERA in 42 innings. Two years ago, Liggett delivered a 2.70 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound right-handed Liggett has committed to Louisville. He played in the KBAC All-Star Game and earned 6A Pitcher of the Year by the Kansas Baseball Coaches. Liggett and Blue Valley Southwest’s Ben Kudrna were Eastern Kansas League’s co-Pitchers of the Year.

2021 Sports in Kansas 6A Baseball Coach of the Year

Tony Scardino, Blue Valley

Blue Valley coach Tony Scardino continued his terrific career with a 23-2 record and Class 6A state title. BV set the school record for victories and bested the 22-3 mark and state crown from ’18. Like many of the state champions this year in baseball and softball, Blue Valley had a sizable turnaround from 2019. That season, BV went 14-8 before the COVID-19 pandemic last spring.

This year in addition to SIK 6A COY, Scardino won Eastern Kansas League Coach of the Year, KABC Coach of the Year, and the 2021 KABC All-Star Game Coach of the Year.

Scardino served as head baseball coach at Bishop Kelley (Okla.) High School from 2001-07, and then was assistant baseball coach at Blue Valley West from ’08-12. Scardino has been Blue Valley head baseball coach from ’13-21. Overall, Scardino is 345-130 in his head coaching career (.726 winning percentage) and 57-14 (.802) in the postseason.

In 2021, Blue Valley was ranked No. 1 in the preseason in the Midwest Region by industry leader Baseball America. BV was also ranked No. 15 nationally by Baseball America. The Tigers won the Eastern Kansas League, a conference that included 5A titlist Blue Valley Southwest. At state, Blue Valley was the No. 1 seed. Blue Valley defeated Free State, 9-1, and then rolled over Manhattan, 15-0. In the finals, Blue Valley beat Gardner-Edgerton, 4-3.

Scardino won titles with Blue Valley in ’17 with a 16-9 record, and then picked up the title in ‘18. He had assistants Tim Kennedy and Kevin Suhr on the state title teams in ’17 and ’18. Other than an 18-24 record in ’01, his first season as head coach, Scardino has never had a losing season.

This marked another impressive one-year turnaround. In the past, Scardino has had year over year improvements of plus-six, plus-seven, plus-10, plus-six and plus-nine. In ’18, Scardino was also 6A Coach of the Year, KABC Coach of the Year and the Kansas Coaches Association Coach of the Year, among other honors.

This season, Chase Jans carried a .369 average with three homers and 24 RBI. He posted an 1.060 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Tate Gillen had a 1.110 OPS with a team-high 31 runs scored. Overall, Blue Valley carried a .317 average.

Jans had a big 2019 with a .373 average with 28 hits, while Gillen had a .366 mark. Known for his elite speed, Jans has committed to Kansas baseball.

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2021 Sports in Kansas 6A All-State Baseball

First Team Order patch by email ASAP: sportsinkansas@gmail.com

P- Carson Liggett, Blue Valley Sr.

P- Michael Uhler, Free State Sr.

P- Ty Blecha, SM Northwest Sr.

P- Brady Beverman, Olathe South Sr.

P- Kasey Crawford, Olathe West Soph.

C- Carsan Malan, Blue Valley West Sr.

C- Alex Birge, Olathe West Sr.

IF – Hunter Vondemkamp, Wasbhurn Rural Sr.

IF- Brock Howard, Washburn Rural Sr.

IF- Corbin Bassham, Olathe South Jr.

IF- Hayden Dyer, Gardner Edgerton Sr.

OF- Grant Strong, Olathe East Sr.

OF- Josh Holmes, SM West Sr.

OF- Chase Jans, Blue Valley Sr.

OF- Tate Gillen, Blue Valley Sr.

Util- Jake Sawyer, Blue Valley West Sr.

Util- Carlos Vasquez, Lawrence Sr.

DH- Bryan Bartels, Olathe West Sr.

Sports in Kansas Second Team All-State Order patch by email ASAP: sportsinkansas@gmail.com

P- Cooper Carlgren, Washburn Rural Sr.

P-Saben Seager, Derby Jr.

P- Luke Johnson, Blue Valley Sr.

P- Andrew Evans, Olathe West Sr.

P- Ryan Borberg, SM Northwest Jr.

P- Drew Norris, Blue Valley Sr.

C-Brady Patterson, Washburn Rural Sr.

C- Will Brant, SM East Sr.

IF-Cade Perkins, Manhattan Sr.

IF- Akash Ayyadevara, Blue Valley West Sr.

IF- Gage Oakley, Wichita Heights Jr.

IF- Kade Snodgrass, Derby Sr.

OF- Coleson Syring, Derby Sr.

OF- Tye Wood, Gardner Edgerton Sr.

OF- Jake McClure , Gardner Edgerton Jr.

OF- Dayne Aschenbrenner, Manhattan Sr.

Util- Luke Westerman, Derby Jr.

Util- Landon Reeves, BV North Sr.

DH- Braden Dinkel, Manhattan Jr.

Sports in Kansas 6A All-State Baseball Honorable Mention 

Order patch by email ASAP: sportsinkansas@gmail.com

Zephran Jetter – Wichita West, Ryan Means – Wichita East, Carson Smith – Wichita Heights, Gaige Oakley – Wichita Heights, Reid Liston – Derby, Grant Ash – Derby, Mitchell Johnson – Derby, Luke Stewart – Derby, Carter Booe – Hutchinson, Myles Thompson – Hutchinson, Landon Reeves, BV North, Jake Sawyer – BV West, Aidan Sowers – Dodge City, Erubiel Duron – Dodge City, Caleb Metzen – Garden City, Kaiden Luna – Garden City, Matt Friess – Dodge City, Alden Knedler – Dodge City, Justice Hannon – Wichita Northwest, Kaleb Coleman – Wichita Northwest, Garryn Plummer – Wichita West, Carson Smith – Wichita Heights, Zach Brink – Olathe Nortwhest, Ryan Borberg – SM Northwest, Josh Holmes – SM West,  Landyn Lutrell – SM Nortwhest, Nyle Banks – Olathe North, Bryan Bartels – Olathe West, Carlos Vasquez – Lawrence, Devin Neal – Lawrence, Kasey Crawford – Olathe West, Brady Beverman – Olathe South, Ty Blecha – SM Northwest, Andrew Evans – Oalthe West, Mitch Mauk – Gardner Edgerton, Max Columbo – Topeka, Cade Perkins – Manhattan, Russell Wilkey – Junction City, Andrew Khoury – Junction City, Carsen Malan – BV North, Easton Wasinger – BVNW, Kenton  Wood – BVW, Drew Kaufman, BVNW, Ethan Breedlove – BVNW, Austin Young – BVW, Luke Hendrickson – BV North


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