Diamond Preview: Commerce Tigers
The Commerce Tigers had another sensational season in 2022. Commerce put up 26 wins en route to a second consecutive region title and a state semifinals run – point blank, this was the best team in our area last year. There’s plenty of reasons why this group will once again be that team and then some.
HEAD COACH: Steve Cotrell (15th Season)
2022 RECORD: 26-14; Region 8-A Public Champions; 1A Public State Final 4; #4 State Ranking
RETURNING STARTERS: 7 (but 10 that started games overall)
KEY DEPARTURES: Ryan Cooper, Brayton Purcell, Kade Morgan
KEY PLAYERS: SR Hampton Hutto (BLITZ Player of the Year ’22), JR JP Allen, SR Alex Rainey, SR Coleson Smith, JR Coy Argo, SR Braxton Morris, SR Cayden Lord, JR Jaxon Foster, SR Cohen Thomason
STRENGTHS: “Hopefully experience and having some success the past couple years will benefit us but keep us ‘Hungry’,” says Cotrell.
With reigning BLITZ Player of the Year Hampton Hutto back for another run, and plenty of starters and standouts like Coy Argo and Coleson Smith, this Tigers team might be the best one yet. It’s a new-look region, but right now Commerce appears as the favorite, and are ranked #6 in the state in early polls. This team has high expectations.
“Our number one goal is to win the region and then we worry about everything else,” says Cotrell. “Our schedule is very tough, especially early on in the season. Also, Our region has changed and there are some really good teams/programs in our region now. There will be a few new pieces expected to step up and take on more demanding roles and the key ingredient is getting everyone to buy into their roles and play your best baseball once region play begins. We will have 15 upper classmen so we will have some depth but again, everybody has to understand their part and put the team first.”