More honors for Cowboys

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Though their season may be over, the Highlands Cowboys continue to rake in postseason accolades.

Jason Carr, an NMHU senior first baseman from Puyallup, Wash., was named 2010 Daktronics NCAA Division II All-Central Region Player of the Year this past week.

Carr, who hit .459, belted 22 home runs and accounted for 78 runs batted in and 41 walks in the regular season, is now a candidate for the Daktronics National Player of the Year award. It is the second time he has been named to the all-region team.

“(Carr) was clearly the most dominant hitter in the region and anchored the Cowboys lineup to Rocky Mountain (Athletic Conference) regular season and tournament championships,” wrote Josh Deer, sports information director at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn. Deer helps coordinate the Daktronics awards for the region.

Highlands senior second baseman David Bustillos and senior pitcher Drew Vassil were also selected to the all-region first team. Bustillos hit .411 and led NMHU in total hits (85) and doubles (19). Vassil was 12-1 heading into this past weekend’s regional playoff, with a 4.33 earned run average and 71 strikeouts; he pitched three complete games.

For the second time, senior outfielder Christian Garcia was named to the all-region second team. Garcia hit .406 and scored 75 runs off 80 hits, including 18 doubles.

NMHU (41-13 overall this year under coach Steve Jones) also landed two players on the all-tournament team for the Central Regional. Catcher Phillip Rodriguez and designated hitter Brad Morgan joined five St. Cloud State Huskies and four Minnesota State Mavericks on the all-tourney team.

Minnesota State defeated St. Cloud State 20-6 in the final game of the four-day tournament held over the past weekend at Farmington’s Ricketts Park. SCSU was responsible for both of Highlands’ losses in the double-elimination event, and the Huskies beat MSU 16-6 to force a second championship game.