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Arkansas' best high school baseball players: Meet the state's top third basemen

Some of the top third basemen in Arkansas baseball

By Kevin Bohannon  

SBLive is looking at the best players in Arkansas. Today, we feature the other corner infield spot, third base, also known as the ‘hot corner.’ Arkansas has produced some very good third basemen the past few years that have had college succes. This is a very good group of players that usually play more than one position on their team. . Players that play multiple positions might be featured on other lists throughout the season. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list as there are hundreds of great players statewide.

Jack Henry Petit | Brookland | SR

He may play a little third base, but Henry had his best moments on the mound for Brookland this spring. One of his best performances on the season came in their loss to Pulaski Academy in the 4A East regional tournament as he hurled a complete game allowing only four hits while striking out ten and only surrendering one walk. On the season, Petit struck out 97 hitters and held opponents to a .180 bating average.

Jake Pannell | Fayetteville | SR

Like many other players on this list, Pannell was big on the mound for the Purple Dogs this season and hurt teams with his bat as well. Fayetteville was young this season and Pannell provided senior leadership that led them to the brink of the playoffs. In an April 5th game against Fort Smith Southside, Pannell started on the mound before shifting to third and had wo doubles with four runs batted in for the game. Pannell has signed with UCA for next season.

Ethan Arnold | Bentonville | SR

Arnold always had a flare for the dramatic, especially late in the season for the Tigers. After battling rival Har-Ber to a scoreless tie through five innings, Arnold got the Tigers going with an RBI-double in a game the Tigers won 7-3. He also knows how to play small ball as he was called upon to lay down a sacrifice bunt multiple times in the playoffs with the biggest coming against North Little Rock that led to two runners scoring to put the Tigers comfortably ahead 4-0. Arnold will attend Bendectine (Kan.) College next season.

Braxton Waller | FS Southside| SR

Parents, you want your son to grow up and be like Braxton Waller. He organized a “Stand Up to Cancer” fundraiser to highlight their game against crosstown rival Northside. He is the Student Council President and a team captain on the field. His off-the-field resume along with his baseball talents has afforded him the opportunity to play collegiately for Hendrix next season.

Kolton Reynolds | Huntsville | SR

Reynolds had one of the best statistical seasons in Huntsville baseball history this season. He tied for the state lead with 12 home runs. He had 37 runs batted in and scored 44 runs. He had a .484 batting average and an eye popping .657 on base percentage.

Eli Gilreath | Van Buren | SR

Gilreath was the Pointers ace on the mound for most of the season but got the start at third base in the 5A title game against Marion before coming in to relieve Devin Gattis. Gilreath earned all-state, 5A-West all-conference and 5A state all-tournament honors by going 10-1 pitching and leading the Pointers in almost every offensive category for the season. Gilreath will attend Missouri Southern State next season.

Kyler Spencer | Conway | JR

Spencer committed to Arkansas early in his freshman year. When you look at him, you can’t tell whether he committed to the football, basketball, or baseball team. At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, he is an imposing figure on the diamond. He could transition to a corner outfield spot in college but has the hands and power arm to stay at third for now.

Hutson Guinn | Greene County Tech | JR

Class 5A got to know Guinn very well during the Golden Eagles’ run to the semifinals in 2021, and they didn’t forget about him this season. The power hitting righty has hit some tape measure shots that leave opposing pitchers shaking their head in disbelief. Guinn has committed to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks after high school.

Ty Waid | Texarkana | JR

Waid has become the jack of all trades for the Razorbacks. He came up as a catcher, then he grew into a corner infielder and got better on the mound. He hits for power and is a menace on the mound. He tossed a 14-strikeout gem against Sheridan in late April and drew three walks at the plate with the Jackets pitching around him. Waid has committed to Arkansas.

Jack Woolbright | Benton | JR

Woolbright has good genes. His older brother, Jaden, pitched at Arkansas State before transferring to Crowder (Mo.) College. Woolbright led the Panthers at the plate with a three hit, 4 RBI performance. I look for him to be a leader for a stacked Benton squad in 2023.

Jared Wray | Rose Bud | JR

Wray earned all-conference honors for the Ramblers this season. He made his mark on the mound as well by tossing three no-hitters this spring. The 6-foot-2 righty did not allow a hit against Newport, Mountain View or Hampton and had 29 strikeouts in the last two games combined. Wray will be a part of a loaded pitching staff for the Ramblers next season.

David Sorg | FS Southside | JR

Another two sport, two-way player that did big things for his team this season. Sorg starts at quarterback for the Mavericks, and when he wasn’t on the mound, he played a solid third base. The 6-foot-5 frame had coaches salivating last summer, but the Sooners won Sorg’s pledge.

Gavin Amberg | North Little Rock | JR

Amberg may have been a spot player this season, but he regularly put up better hitting numbers than the starter and looks to have a huge senior year. He hit over .300 for NLR and contributed on the mound. He worked hard in the offseason to transform his body and put on good muscle. He has a 6-2, 200-pound frame and continues to get better. He committed to Crowder JC recently after he threw a bullpen for them, and they saw him run his fastball up to 90 MPH. Look for Gavin to put up big number for the Wildcats next season.

Abe Owen | Cabot | JR

Owen made all-state for the Panthers leading them with 6 home runs and hit .418 with 31 runs batted in on the year. He figures to be one of the top hitters to return in the state in 2023 as Cabot looks to make another run at the 6A state title.

Weston Speir | Brookland| SO

Speir was a cornerstone of the Bearcats offense and did big things on the mound this season. Take their conference doubleheader against Southside as an example: Speir threw a complete game one hitter and drove in five runs as the Bearcats got the sweep.

Cory Jines | Norfork | 3B

Norfork had many “firsts” this season. They won 20 games for the first time. They also had a first-time head coach. They also had a first-year player at third base in Cory Jines. Jines hit .447 with 42 runs batted in and 21 stolen bases for the Panthers. Probably the most special part of the season for the Jines family was seeing Cory and his brother Landon on the field together for the first time as teammates and leading the Panthers to a level of success never attained.

Rex Tedder | Walnut Ridge | SO

Sometimes we see players and think, “I could see that kid growing into his body and doing some damage sooner rather than later.” That describes Tedder perfectly. He has a slender build but great baseball instincts. He made all-conference for the Bobcats and pitched some this season. He and Nolan Belcher will look to lead Walnut Ridge back to the state tournament in 2023.