Tigers’ Miller, Billingsley lead charge for Chilton on ASWA baseball teams

Published 12:20 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

When the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s All-State Baseball Teams were announced earlier in June only one Chilton player earned a nod. Chilton County High School’s Cannon Miller was the lone Chilton County baseball player selected to an all-state team by the ASWA, and he did it with Class 6A first team honors.

Miller’s career at CCHS prior to the 2023 season was solely behind the plate. He caught some of the Tigers best pitchers in the last 10-20 years, and coach Ryan Ellison has said in the past that Miller could play any position on the baseball field. Not many thought, however, it would be the direct opposite of his normal position.

Miller thrived as the Tigers ace pitcher in 2023 throwing 49 and two-third innings with a 5-2 record and a miniscule 1.90 earned run average. He struck out 70 batters while allowed only 18 free passes. His work at the plate was equally as impressive boasting a .482 batting average and a massive 1.450 on-base plus slugging percentage. He had six home runs, 15 doubles and drove in 41 runs.

Neighboring-county Billingsley High School had four players selected to the ASWA Class 1A All-State Baseball Team including Class 1A pitcher of the year Mason Truesdale on the first team.

“It is really exciting to see four of our guys make the list,” Billingsley coach Jeffrey Alexander said. “They were all well-deserving … I think that says a lot about them and our team. I expect to see more on (the lists) next year.”

Junior outfielder Nathan Gilmore joined Truesdale on the first team with a .333 average and a .489 OBP. He had 26 base hits, 28 RBIs and stole a team high 20 bases.

Bears’ catcher Landon Jones landed on the second team with a whopping .547 average and a .681 OBP. The sophomore had 35 hits, 38 RBIs and 13 doubles in a power hitting season. Kyle Boice earned an honorable mention nod at pitcher, but did his duty at the plate as well, knocking 28 hits, 30 RBIs and five doubles good enough for a .346 average and a .442 OBP.

“It helps you out as a coach knowing that you will have strong pitching over the next couple of years,” Alexander said.

Truesdale, Jones and Boice all saw time on the mound for the Bears, and all will be returning in 2024.