McKenzie thrilled to represent Centennial
Centennial senior second baseman Andrew McKenzie will make his mark on the lore and tradition of the Spartans’ baseball program by becoming the first player from Centennial to play in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game at Round Rock’s Del Diamond.
McKenzie will play for the North Squad in the Class 5A-6A game that starts at 4 p.m. June 18. The Class 2A-4A game starts at noon at the same location that day. The North squad will be coached by Frisco Wakeland’s Barry Rose and Lubbock Monterey’s Kent Meador.
Centennial coach Brad Hart nominated McKenzie and several teammates for the honor. After long selection process, McKenzie was selected for the game.
“It’s a great honor,” McKenzie said. “I’m more excited to represent my team then myself because in the end that’s what it is all about, the team.”
The senior helped the Spartans to their first district title and a school-record 25 wins.
For the season, McKenzie hit a team-high .511 with an on-base percentage of .579 and a slugging percentage of .733. McKenzie played in 32 of 33 games. He had 21 RBI, scored 32 runs, collected six doubles, four triples and two home runs.
Midway through season, Hart told McKenzie, who was hitting over .500 at the time, that if he kept his batting average up he might make the all-star game.
“I knew a little bit about the all-star game from other guys talking about it,” McKenzie said. “When coach told me that it might be a possible [to play in the all-star game] I just focused on going out everyday and working to help my team. I wasn’t focused on individual stats and at the end of the day playing in the game just kind of happened to be there.”
McKenzie’s road to the all-star game wasn’t an easy one. Before the season, Hart told him that he needed to improve his hitting to see consistent playing time. McKenzie played some in left field early in the season and when first baseman Beau Staten went down with an injury and second baseman Micah Bennett couldn’t throw much because of an injury, the door opened for McKenzie.
Bennett moved to first base to protect his arm and McKenzie slid into the opening at second base and into the leadoff role for the Spartans. From that point he never looked back as Centennial had a dream season.
“It feels great to have accomplished what we did as a team,” McKenzie said. “During the whole off-season, coach told us to focus on winning the day. It turns out we won a few more days than we lost but it still wasn’t enough at the end of the season. We set the bar pretty high for the team’s that will follow us.”