PNG’s Henry, two Cards drafted

Published 5:58 pm Saturday, June 11, 2016

It was only a matter of time before a standout on Lamar’s baseball team would be drafted by a Major League Baseball team.

Turns out, a second Lamar player and recent Port Neches-Groves graduate have been drafted.

Lamar pitcher Will Hibbs broke through in the draft, as the Philadelphia Phillies picked him in the 19th round on Saturday. Minutes later, the Houston Astros selected teammate Stijn van der Meer in the 34th round.

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Carter Henry of PNG became the 40th-round pick of the Boston Red Sox, but he said Saturday he will still attend the University of Houston on a baseball scholarship.

“That was pretty cool,” Henry said after getting a call from the Red Sox scout. “Being drafted has always been a dream. I really never thought this would happen.”

Henry went 5-2 his senior year and helped guide the Indians to a second straight District 22-5A championship. He pitched 57 2/3 innings and carried a 1.21 ERA with 88 strikeouts and 29 walks.

The Indians were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by Santa Fe. Henry was named co-MVP of District 22-5A along with Baylor signee and PNG teammate Ryan Leckich.

Hibbs closed out a strong senior season for the Cardinals, whose 35 wins were a 14-game improvement from 2015. He won first-team All-Southland Conference honors and finished 9-3 with a 3.27 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 96 1/3 innings. For his career, Hibbs was 17-7 with 199 strikeouts.

Hibbs also was selected April Pitcher of the Month by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association for going 5-0 and posting a 1.75 ERA that month. That record was part of a personal seven-game winning streak.

Van der Meer reeled off the second-longest hitting streak in Lamar history this season at 24 games. The Netherlands native batted .363 for his two-year Lamar career, ranking third all-time at the university. He went .376 this season with 80 hits, 20 runs batted in and 44 runs scored.

Gabriel Pruett contributed to the article.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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