Three upcoming sophomores named to ALABCA all-star baseball event

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, June 24, 2023

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Three rising baseball sophomores, two from Andalusia and one from Red Level, were selected for the 2023 Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Underclassman All-Star Event at Troy University from June 26-28.

Red Level’s Connor Blackwell

Connor Blackwell will represent Red Level School. Riley Cravey and Noah Curry will represent Andalusia High School.

All three agreed that the opportunity to participate in the event means a lot to them.

“I’m proud to represent Red Level High School and hope to represent it in a positive way. I’m grateful to participate because I get to be around a lot of good baseball players and learn from them. It’s an honor to represent my school and community,” Blackwell said.

Andalusia’s Riley Cravey

“Baseball is my passion. It means a lot to have this opportunity to go play against good competition in front of a lot of people and to represent Andalusia High School. I work hard to do my best, and I am grateful it pays off in the end,” Cravey stated.

“Receiving this recognition means a lot to me because I feel rewarded for all the hard work I have put in over the years. I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate because it allows me to showcase who I am as a baseball player to people outside of our area,” Curry added.

Blackwell first began playing baseball at a young age. He finished his freshman season at RLS with a .434 batting average, 14 stolen bases, and 16 RBIs. One of his biggest 2023 highlights came against Central-Hayneville in the first round of the 1A state playoffs when he went 7-for-7 with three triples, three doubles, a single, three walks, and seven RBIs. Blackwell also stole four bases and earned a save with four strikeouts in two scoreless innings.

Andalusia’s Noah Curry

“I’ve played with a team since I was four years old. Before that, I remember hitting off tees in my yard with plastic bats and balls. Most importantly, I enjoyed playing the game with my friends. In baseball, you can build many lifelong friendships. I also enjoy the big games and the big moments,” Blackwell said.

Cravey has been playing baseball for nearly 10 years. He finished his freshman season at AHS with a .323 batting average, 21 hits, 20 runs, and 10 stolen bases.

“I started playing because my older cousin Jacob was playing. My dad took me to watch him, and I knew I wanted to play after that. I most enjoy the competition and the fact nothing comes easy. Every opportunity has to be earned,” Cravey said. Jacob Cravey, a former Andalusia Bulldog, now pitches for Samford University in Birmingham.

Curry is an all-A student who has played baseball his entire life. He also plays football and varsity basketball at AHS. As a freshman, he had two runs, an RBI, and four walks in 13 plate appearances.

“Anything with a ball is my favorite. Baseball is just a really fun sport to play in general, but my favorite thing about it is hitting. Contrary to popular belief, hitting a baseball that is traveling an average of 90 mph can be difficult. If you get three hits out of 10 at-bats, it means you have a .300 batting average, and you’ll be one of the best hitters in the game. Anything with a ball is my favorite,” Curry said.

All three stated they would use this experience to grow both on and off the field.

“To be good at something, it takes working hard every day and experience. This event gives me the opportunity to play with and learn from others who love the same game I love,” Blackwell stated. “I will use this experience to learn and grow in baseball and as a person. These guys I will be playing with and against are some of the best, and I look forward to learning from them and helping them how I can,” Cravey added.

Curry will make his second consecutive appearance at the event.

“I was fortunate enough to have done this last year and feel like it was a great experience in a lot of ways. I was able to meet new people with similar interests and also able to show off my talents on a bigger stage with coaches at the next level watching. Hopefully, with each passing year, I will continue to be nominated for this All-Star event to possibly make it to play at the next level,” Curry said.

Blackwell is the son of Jed and Heather Blackwell.

“Both of my parents make many sacrifices to help me try to be the best player I can be for my team. They take me to hit and work out daily at All-Star Athletics along with picking me up mentally if I’m struggling at the plate or had a bad game. I’d like to especially thank my high school head coach Scotty Pennington and assistant coach Kenny Skipper for the jobs they do. They love Red Level and most importantly strive to help each player be the best they can be. I’d also like to thank my family, teammates, and friends for supporting me,” Blackwell said.

Cravey is the son of Ashley and Heather Cravey.

“My family and friends are everything. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am. Everything isn’t always easy in baseball. Sometimes, things are tough, and they are my biggest support and pick me up when I’m down. They believe in me and help me be confident in the person I am. I would like to thank my coaches for believing in me and giving me this opportunity,” Cravey said.

Curry is the son of Brittany Carter and Tra Curry.

“My family is supportive of anything that I do. I am thankful for that. My friends are also supportive and make it fun,” Curry stated.

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