Strambler, Quintanilla nab all-state honors
Payton Strambler and Ethan Quintanilla played important roles for Centennial’s 2017 baseball team as seniors. Because of this contributions, they were honored Monday as members of the Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State team.
Strambler gained second-team honors at catcher while Quintanilla was on the third-team as an outfielder and relief pitcher.
“It’s a pretty big honor,” Centennial coach Brad Hart said. “You are looking at comparing yourself to everybody in the state in Class 5A.”
Strambler, the District 9-5A MVP, was a rock behind and at the plate for the Spartans.
He hit .452 with a .679 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of 515. The senior hit three home runs, two triples and 13 doubles while driving in 32 runs.
According to Hart, Strambler was a great catcher because he was so smart. He and pitching coach Matt Allen were on the same page. Allen and Strambler would brainstorm during a game about how to get a certain hitter out.
“He understood not only catching, but pitching,” Hart said. “Plus he had a shutdown arm behind the plate. He was able to block balls. He was just catcher savvy back there.”
Between his junior and senior season, Quintanilla was determined to make himself a better hitter. The hard work paid off with 9-5A first-team honors in the outfield.
Quintanilla, who started in center field, hit .385 for the season with a .651 slugging percentage and a .468 on-base percentage. He led the team with 35 RBI while collecting nine doubles, four triples and four home runs.
“Ethan is just a great athlete,” Hart said. “He could flat out go get it in the outfield. We are going to miss all that speed. With him in center field, it allowed us to play a certain way. He could cover the gaps. Having him in the outfield was a luxury.”
On the mound, Quintanilla posted a 3-1 record with two saves and a 4.69 ERA in nine appearances. He struck out 31 in 25.1 innings.