The 2010 season was no exception. Nelson helped carry the Tigers (23-17) to the Class 1A state semifinals by batting .532 with 11 homers, 24 doubles, four triples, 65 runs, 37 walks and 51 RBI. He also stole 23 bases.
His batting average, doubles and runs scored last season are the highest single-season totals in Alabama High School Athletic Association history. Career-wise, Nelson holds AHSAA records in doubles (68), runs scored (189), and stolen bases (91).
Add one more accolade to Nelson’s belt.
The senior was recently selected as a designated hitter to the Alabama Sportswriters Association Class 1A All-State Baseball Team, released on Sunday. He was one of 10 area baseball players to earn All-State recognition.
“I feel like it’s not only an honor for me, but for my teammates as well,” Nelson said of his selection. “They push me, and I try to push them. I’m just real excited for the way our season ended, going to the state semifinals. I think my career ended on a pretty high note. I don't have any regrets.”
Talbot said Nelson is a rare player who personifies the way the game should be played.
“Even as a ninth grader, he was one of our leaders and one of our best,” he said. “If you look at his stats, he’s going to go down in (AHSAA) history as one of the top statistical leaders in batting average, doubles, RBI and stolen bases. That speaks to the work he put in, and I’m very proud for him.”
Joining Nelson on the Class 1A team is Gaylesville sophomore Zack Cavin. Cavin, who played a variety of positions for the Trojans last season, earned a spot at utility. He batted .517 with 16 doubles, a triple, 13 walks, 15 stolen bases and 13 RBI. He also scored 29 runs.
Nelson’s teammate, freshman third baseman Curtis Abernathy, earned an honorable mention. Abernathy batted .430 with 13 doubles, five home runs, a pair of triples and 56 RBI. He also scored 34 runs for the Tigers last season.
Spring Garden (20-14) had three honorable mentions in senior outfielder Jake Scott, junior utility player Andrew Maddox, and junior designated hitter Tyler Smart.
Scott batted .426 with nine doubles, five triples, four home runs, 34 RBI and 31 runs to help lead the Panthers to their first Area 12 title.
Maddox, who pitched and played third base for the Panthers, batted .373 with six doubles, a pair of homers, 24 RBI and scored 21 runs. On the mound, Maddox was 6-3 with two saves in 62 innings of work. He recorded 78 strikeouts and had a 4.74 ERA.
Smart batted .460 with nine doubles, a triple, three home runs and 18 RBI. He also scored 26 runs and walked 21 times.
Collinsville had an honorable mention at shortstop in sophomore Josh Gogus. Gogus batted .421 with six doubles, two triples, a home run and 20 RBI. He also scored 26 runs and had 33 stolen bases.
In Class 2A, Sand Rock (14-11) garnered an honorable mention in sophomore third baseman Chris Terrell. Terrell batted .347 with 19 runs and 18 RBI for the Wildcats last season. He also had an on-base percentage of .707.
Piedmont senior Chase Childers earned an honorable mention at catcher on the Class 3A squad. Childers batted .426 with six doubles, a triple, three home runs and had 23 RBI for the Bulldogs (12-10) last season. He also scored 20 runs, walked 12 times and had 10 stolen bases.
Cherokee County (16-6) also had an honorable mention at shortstop in senior Coty Blanchard. Blanchard, a Jacksonville State signee, led the Warriors with a .524 batting average, including 12 doubles and five homers. He also drove in 29 runs, scored 36 more and walked 17 times.