BE's Alphin, Bowles earn baseball All-State honors; NB's Cissell runs and tackles

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By Mike Farner

SHEPHERDSVILLE - The honors keep rolling in for Bullitt East baseball standouts Brandon Alphin and Matt Bowles.

On Tuesday of this week, it was learned that both of the juniors had been named First Team All-State by the Kentucky Baseball Coaches’ Association. There were 18 players named to the first team and an equal number on the second team.

It has been quite a few years since any local players have earned All-State baseball recognition.

Alphin, who recently committed to the University of Louisville, already had been selected as the Sixth Region Player of the Year.

In helping lead Bullitt East to a 31-9 record and the program’s first trip ever to the Kentucky State Baseball Tournament, where they reached the semi-finals, both Bowles and Alphin did their part at the plate and on the pitching mound.

Alphin led Bullitt East this season with a .476 batting average with 130 at-bats. He was second on the team with seven home runs and he drove in 59 runs, also the best on the team.

On the mound, Alphin faced some of the toughest opponents on the Chargers’ schedule and still posted an 8-4 record. Two of the losses were to St. Xavier and Harrison County while a third was to Elizabethtown in the first game of the semi-state tourney.

Bowles was just as effective for the Chargers. In the middle of the season the junior was shifted to the lead-off position and finished with a .411 batting average. Bowles had 129 at-bats while scoring a school record 53 runs this spring. He also had 11 doubles.

Bowles finished the season on the mound with a 10-2 record. He worked 70 innings and allowed only 20 earned runs. Bowles led the team with 76 strike-outs while walking only 28.

(Most stat numbers are only through semi-state play.)

Two other Sixth Region players were named to the All-State First Team - Pleasure Ridge Park’s Trey Harper and Cody Gibson.

In the same voting by the baseball coaches, the group named Luke Maile of Covington Catholic as Kentucky’s Mr. Baseball for 2009. Kevin Clary, the head coach at Lexington Catholic, was named the state’s Coach of the Year.

Cissell Runs & Tackles

North Bullitt football standout Dalton Cissell played his final high school football game on Friday in the Beast of the Bluegrass All-Star game at the in Bowling Green.

Cissell was part of the winning West squad as they beat the East 20-3.

Earlier this week, Cissell, who will walk-on at the University of Louisville this summer, said that he had a good time playing both offense and defense in the All-Star game. He was in Bowling Green for four days practicing for the contest.

Cissell recalled making five tackles from his outside linebacker position as well as forcing one fumble. On offense, the running back carried the ball five times for about 20 yards.

Cissell will start school at the University of Louisville in early July and will then be working out with the team. He and Eagle teammate Zack Perkins, who will also walk-on at Louisville, had been doing conditioning and weight work at Little Flock Baptist Church.

Because he is walking on at Louisville, Cissell is getting no athletic aide at this point. Through grants and scholarships as well as an award from North Bullitt, Cissell will have most of his college expenses covered.

Cissell says that he is hoping to continue with athletics for a long time. He is not set on a major, but would like to do something in sports along the lines of physical therapy and exercise science or sports administration.