Cordova is two-time First Team All-State
Merrill’s Alex Cordova headed into uncharted territory when he was named First Team All-State for the second consecutive year by the Wis. Baseball Coaches Ass’n.
Only Jordan Stine (2005) and Cordova (2011) had earned the honor previously for the Bluejays.
“To make First Team All-State two years in a row is quite an accomplishment,” MHS coach Brian Artac said. “He’s quality and he is reality. He was quite a ballplayer on a mediocre team.
“Tell you what, he was a good hitter when he was 10 years old and he kept getting better and better. His swing is very quiet and it’s very smooth. His swing is short and compact, like Paul Molitor’s or George Brett’s. It’s quiet but quick, and all smooth, There’s nothing moving around.”
Hitting plays the largest role in the All-State team and the senior Cordova batted .500 overall, with a .600 OBP and .789 slugging % leading to a gaudy OBS of 1.389. He actually had the lowest batting average of the four First Team infielder selections, edged out by a .512 and two .506’s.
But Cordova was no slouch on the field, either, fielding at a .946 clip despite playing shortstop. He even bailed the Bluejays out a few times in critical situations with relief pitching, winning two games and saving three others.
“He does a lot of things well,” Artac said. “Shortstop is where he really improved the most in the past year. A .942 fielding average when you play shortstop, that’s pretty good.
“A lot of it is he’s gotten bigger and stronger. A lot of people don’t realize what the weight room did for him. BFS is Bigger, Faster, Stronger, and it did it for him. He’s not bulky, but he’s strong.
“He’s also quicker. He was one steal short of tying the school record for stolen bases with 18.”
Jordan Burton holds that mark with 19 taken in 2011.
Cordova was the only Valley player to collect First Team honors. SPASH senior pitcher Logan Mallek, with his 10-2 record and 1.72 ERA, was named to the Second Team. Rib Lake senior infielder Zack Iverson was Third Team with a .533 BA. Rhinelander’s Lucas Michlig (senior infielder, .482 BA) and Joe Zuicker (senior catcher, .367 BA), and D.C. Everest sophomore outfielder Wyatt Brown (.389 BA) all received Honorable Mention.
Cordova will also represent the West squad in the 2012 WBCA All-Star Classic, to be held June 29-30 on E.J. Schneider Field at Oshkosh North High School. The classic draws the top 72 high school seniors from around the state.
The West will play the East at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and on Saturday will vie with the North at 1:00 p.m. and the South at 3:00.