Henderson County’s Top High School Baseball Players
High school baseball is back and for the first time in three years, area teams are finally going to have full seasons.
This season kicks off Monday with a taste of the old Apple Country Conference that existed decades ago and included all four schools in Henderson County. North Henderson High coach Justin King came up with the idea of hosting an Apple Country tournament, which will span the entire opening week.
“It will be our four county teams plus Madison and North Buncombe,” he said. “Since North, East and West are in the same conference, we will not be playing against each other. At the end of the games, the winner will be determined by the highest winning percentage.”
The schedule is as follows:
Monday: North Henderson at North Buncombe, 4 p.m., Hendersonville at West Henderson, 5 p.m.
Wednesday: Hendersonville at North Henderson, 4 p.m., Madison at East Henderson, 6 p.m.
Friday: North Buncombe at West Henderson, 6 p.m., Hendersonville at East Henderson, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: Madison at North Henderson, 2:30 p.m.
Before the games start, here’s a look at the best returning players in the region:
North Henderson senior Brayden Corn
Corn was a leader both offensively and defensively and helped lead the Knights to one of their best seasons ever, which made him the 2021 Times Baseball Player of the Year pick- News. He played solid defense at shortstop, and he was the Knights’ closest, with 16 strikeouts in 10 1-3 innings and was a perfect 4-for-4 in save attempts. At plate, he was one of the team leaders to hit with a .404 batting average. He had five doubles, a triple, a home run, 16 runs and 12 RBIs. He was also a terror on the bases with 10 interceptions.
Dylan Blackwell Senior of North Henderson
An all-conference football and baseball pick, Blackwell was one of North’s leading pitchers and led the team in strikeouts with 46 in 41 innings. He also played solid defense at third base and hit .250 with three doubles and six RBIs. He signed to play baseball in the fall at Brevard College.
West Henderson senior Jackson Duchesne
An all-conference selection last year, he pitched 25 1-3 innings and had a 1.93 ERA with 25 strikeouts. He hit .345 with eight RBIs, five doubles and a home run. He signed to play baseball in the fall at Muskingum University in Ohio.
Truitt Manuel, West Henderson sophomore
Already an NC State commitment, Manuel was an all-conference pick last season and had 30 strikeouts in 16 1-3 innings pitched with a 3.00 ERA. He also hit .300 with nine RBIs, two doubles and a home run.
Hendersonville Jr. Sam Wolfe
Drafted in all conferences last year, Wolfe had a .395 batting average with six RBIs and eight stolen bases. He also pitched 26 innings and had 23 strikeouts and a 4.31 ERA.
Brody Parris junior in Hendersonville
A 2021 all-conference pick, Parris had a .429 batting average with 15 hits, 13 RBIs and a .381 on-base percentage.
Brevard Senior Garrett Swicegood
He earned Mountain Six Conference Co-Player of the Year honors last season after hitting .515 with 17 hits, 15 runs and 10 RBIs. He also had a .617 on-base percentage.
Brevard senior Peyton Salter
A 2021 all-conference pick, Salter was second on the team in batting average at .474. He had 18 hits, seven runs, 10 RBIs and a .543 on-base percentage.