By Chris Goltermann
Heritage School’s baseball team may have been disappointed that its trip to this year’s GISA State Playoffs was short-lived.
But the Hawks have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about 2020 after grabbing their share of postseason honors on both this year’s All-Region 1-AAA and All-State teams.
Junior infielder Jacob Rochester, who played both second and third this year in addition to outfield duties in previous seasons, led the Hawks with a .560 average that included five homers, 22 RBIs and a 1.068 slugging percentage.
While showcasing his power, the Heritage standout equally proved to have a good eye at the plate, striking out just four times in 2019.
“Jacob had one of the best seasons I have ever seen in high school at the plate,” head coach Ryan Danbury said. “All of his hard work he puts in year-round really paid off for him this year.”
Rochester was also among five Heritage players that were named to the All-Region Team for 1-AAA, where Heritage finished as co-champions with Dominion Christian of Marietta after splitting two regular-season games.
They also included the Hawks’ lone senior this spring in pitcher Henry Arnall. His 4-1 record and a 1.68 ERA included both a perfect game and a combined no-hitter.
“Henry was the heart and sole of the team being the only senior,” Danbury said. “He will be missed on and off the field by his team.”
While also playing third and catcher when not on the mound, Arnall batted .290 with 8 RBIs.
In his first year as a starter behind the plate, Jacob Cackett batted .431 with 17 RBIs while batting cleanup in Heritage’s order.
Pitcher David White posted a 3-2 record and also was a starter in the outfield while belting three homers.
“He was one of our best outfielders defensively and had some clutch big-time hits,” Danbury said.
Junior Jon Jon Willams, who provided relief both on the mound and as a starting centerfielder. Williams finished the spring without a single outfield error.
“Every ball that was hit even close to him he caught,” Danbury said. “He was a force on the basepaths this year and really did a great job at the top of our lineup”
In his first year at Heritage, Williams batted .314 with two homers and 12 RBIs. He was also among team leaders with 21 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.
In 14 innings pitched, Williams posted a 1.50 ERA.